'Call it experience, I am always ready.'
He was not part of the T20 scheme of things for past one year but Mohammed Shami was "always ready" in his mind because of the communication between him and the team management.
The veteran India seamer last played T20Is during the last edition of the T20 World Cup in the UAE, after which it was decided that he would only feature in Tests and ODIs.
But Jasprit Bumrah's stress fracture of the back, an injury to Deepak Chahar and Avesh Khan's loss of form forced the team management to call Shami back for T20 World Cup 2022.
"It all depends on preparation, and the team management always tells you to get ready," Shami said after India beat Bangladesh by five runs in Adelaide on Wednesday.
"As and when the team requires, you will get the call, is what we are always told. If you have seen my videos, I am never out of practice and I always continue with my training," the Bengal fast bowler said.
Cooling his heels since playing on the tour of England, Shami was called back for the twin T20 series against South Africa and Australia before COVID-19 laid him low.
"It's not always easy to switch from one format to another red and white balls. It's about how well you are connected with the team and how well you bond with them," Shami spoke about his relationship with current setup.
"These are things that depends, and secondly, yes, I am playing T20Is after last World T20 and I agree that a player needs confidence and flow more than the colour of the ball. Obviously you need practice."
Shami, who normally bowls one change and in the middle overs, gave an insight into his training.
"Call it experience, I am always ready. If you see me in matches, I am always bowling with new ball but when it comes to practice, I normally choose semi new or old ball.
"If you get that benefit during the game, it's good. Just that you need confidence that you can execute it in a match situation," he said.
Executing the plans during death overs is all about having a tough mindset and keeping calm under pressure, according to the seamer.
"I always believe that you should have faith in your skill sets, and in these situations, you need to remain calm, and years of experience comes in handy.
"When the ball gets wet, there are 50 things that play on your mind and primarily whether you will be perfectly able to execute your plans or not," he explained.
He supplemented his logic by explaining why Arshdeep Singh was given the last over in the match against Bangladesh.
"There were 20 runs left and it was the skipper's choice and you want to look ahead. Also his yorkers were spot on so the skipper might have wanted to boost his confidence," Shami said.
While India had an advantage once the match was curtailed, Shami was confident that 185 was defendable, despite a good start by Litton Das.
"185 is a good T20 score on any day and on any surface. Yes, rain did come and that's a different thing.
"When the target was revised, they needed nearly 10 runs an over (85 off 9 overs) and it wasn't easy. The ball was becoming wet and it became close, but the skill and quality shown by our boys, good for us."
The ball, post the rain break, was getting wet but Shami refused to believe that it only helped the batters.
"Yes, the ball skids which makes it easier for batting but you also have a chance to get wickets as batters might be late in reaching with the ball travelling faster. It's a 50-50 thing."
In October last year, Shami was trolled mercilessly on social media after the loss to Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, and this time around he has been going steady over four games without being exceptional.
"Real fan doesn't turn you from hero to zero overnight. If you are a true cricket lover, then you should be able to support your favourite player in both good and bad times," he said.