Boxing Day Test: Mohammed Shami thanks Ravichandran Ashwin's support

Pacer Mohd Shami acknowledges off-spinner's disciplined bowling effort that helped Indian quicks put pressure on Australian batsmen

Melbourne: Medium pacer Mohammed Shami acknowledged off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s disciplined bowling effort that helped Indian quicks put pressure on the Australian batsmen on the Boxing Day Test here yesterday.

Ravichandran Ashwin
R Ashwin during the first day of the MCG Test yesterday. Pic/Getty Images.

Shami took two crucial wickets for 55 runs in 17 overs to restrict Australia to 259 for five on Day One at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Mohammed ShamiMohammed Shami

“It is very important to keep the pressure up from both ends. If you bowl well from one end and runs are conceded from the other, it doesn’t make sense,” Shami said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a spinner or a pacer; if one bowler can hold one end up, it gives the other one a better chance to attack and pick wickets. I really liked the way Ashwin did that job or us. That gave us the freedom to try out our lengths and form our plans.”

The 24-year-old seamer also said it was challenging to bowl in Australia since the Kookaburra ball used here doesn’t offer much reverse swing.

“We don’t get as much reverse swing with the Kookaburra ball as we do with the SG back home. So we have to focus more on accuracy. Besides being disciplined with our bowling, we also have to keep our emotions in check and be patient,” Shami said.

Today’s target
Shami said India would now aim to send Australia packing in the first session today in the ongoing third cricket Test.
“Throughout the series, our intention has been to bowl to a plan, to bowl line and length,” said Shami.

“But plans don’t always work out. Sometimes it isn’t the bowlers’ day, so line and length goes awry. Sometimes you don’t get wickets or give away runs even when you bowl well. The focus today was on line and length, and I am glad that we did that.”

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