Mohammed Shami produced the ball of the season to get through the defences of opposition’s best bet Mushfiqur Rahim in the second session of the first day of first cricket Test match between India and Bangladesh in Indore. Shami (3/27 in 13 overs) once again showed his mastery with the old ball but this time the ‘second innings specialist’ delivered in the first.
But what was most impressive was the way he set up a well set Rahim with four conventional outswingers and then got a 53 plus over old ball to jag back sharply, leaving the batsmen in a daze.
Going wide of the crease, he angled it in and Rahim thought of leaving it and when he did try to bring the bat down, it was too late. A perfect cocktail of reverse swing and conventional swing was mixed and mashed properly.
At the end his prodigious reverse swing was simply too much too handle for Rahim.
— Casper (@reverse_swing3) November 14, 2019
Mohammad Shami has been in terrific form in 2019. (Screengrab)The very next delivery once again was bowled little wide of the crease and this time Mehidy Hasan had no chance to get bat on it as the ball rapped into the pads and the batter was declared LBW.
Shami picked up his first wicket in the morning session but this time it came back with the angle, skidded through and then shaped back into the Mithun who was clearly late to counter it and was once again struck bang in front of middle.
Shami is one of the best bowlers with the old ball, showcasing excellent control to extract movement. His impeccable seam position is one to admire and he appears to be in complete control over the great art of swinging a ball at pace.
According to cricviz data online he averages 22 in Overs 41-80. Since 2002 where ball-by-ball data is available, of the 79 seamers to have bowled 1000+ balls in the phase, only five of them average better
Shami has also taken 64 wickets across all formats for India in 2019; only Pat Cummins has claimed more in international cricket this year (83).
Reflecting on his spell, the 32-year-old spoke in a post match interview and said, “I want to bowl according to the conditions and the situation. I want to stick to my plans. I have been going wide of the crease too in the last two years. I plan according to the batsman. You always enjoy when you do well for your team and country. I was thinking about the hat-trick during the tea break.”
Mohammed Shami is easily India’s best test bowler at the moment. We just cannot wait to see his prowess with the pink ball where he will most likely wreak a never seen before havoc on the opposition.