Mohali Test: Stronger Mohammad Shami is a boon to Team India
India skipper Virat Kohli hails Bengal pacer for bowling well-directed, vicious bouncers to the Englishmen on Day Four of the third Test in Mohali; praises his partnerships-breaking acts
India's Mohammed Shami Shami (second from left) successfully appeals against England batsman Adil Rashid on the Mohali Test. Pic/PTI
Mohali: There have been only a handful of Indian pace bowlers who have made a mark for themselves. The latest of them is Mohammed Shami. He has the knack of breaking stubborn partnerships or cleaning up the resistance of lower order batsmen. Coming back from a serious knee injury, he is improving with every match and is lending the Indian attack the much-needed firepower.
At the PCA stadium in Mohali, Shami grabbed the attention when with a couple of vicious bouncers he ended the resistance of Chris Woakes, who along with Haseeb Hameed was threatening to take the match into the final day.
Shami's nasty bouncer struck Woakes on the side of the helmet to rattle the batsman. The bowler went all the way to inquire his well-being. Despite showing decency, Shami did not relent the pressure and sent down another well-directed bouncer which Woakes could only edge it to the wicket-keeper. Two balls later another top-class bouncer got rid of Adil Rashid.
Shami was more effective than the English pacemen on the Mohali pitch which played much truer and sporting, as pacemen could get something out of it even on the fourth day.
On the first day, Umesh Yadav had struck England opener Hameed with a well-directed bouncer which not only got his wicket but also broke his little finger of the left hand to end his tour.
'Learn from Shami'
Then came the Shami show in the second session of the fourth day. The Indian pacemen looked more menacing than his English counterparts, so much so that Ian Botham in the commentary box advised the England pacemen to learn from the Indian pace duo. The England team had allowed the Indian lower order to flourish without even once being intimidating. Skipper Virat Kohli was mighty pleased with Shami's effort and also had a word of praise for Umesh. "He (Shami) has come back stronger after his knee injury.
He came back and training really hard and is rushing in much more now. He is able to sustain that energy for four to five good overs. He is bowling long spells. He has become more aware of what he wants to do and what he has to do to be a good Test bowler. He is making those important breakthroughs throughout the game. With Umesh (Yadav) in tandem – they both bowl 145 plus consistently on these pitches," Kohli said.
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Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya goof around with kids during training