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Zaheer hails Shami burst, labels him big prospect

Ishant has come a long way and it is important that he picks up wickets. He has been around for a while.

Auckland |
February 9, 2014 2:14:32 am

The leader of the pack Zaheer Khan was an understandably content man on Saturday, after India bowled New Zealand out cheaply to keep the visitors in the game. He lauded Mohd Shami as a “match-winner” and also had words of praise for the fielding. He said the momentum was with India and they would hope to continue in the same vein on Day Four. Excerpts

On Shami
He’s a great prospect for Team India and has had some brilliant performances. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a match-winner. That is the way I look at him. A good bowler has this quality to take wickets in bunches, that is what defines a good bowler, and Shami has shown that quality. With experience he is only going to get better.

On Ishant
Ishant has come a long way and it is important that he picks up wickets. He has been around for a while. He has the potential to create an impact at this level and I am happy that he’s among the wickets.

On the bowling
It was a brilliant performance from all the bowlers. As a bowling unit, we clicked together. The important thing was that we had some brilliant catching as well in the slip cordon and that was very crucial and it really made the difference. Everyone chipped in with wickets. It was crucial because when you have to get the opposition out for low scores, then everyone has to chip in. The last time this happened was in Trinidad in 2002, when all the bowlers took three wickets each.

On bowling short
Short bowling was our plan in the first innings as we wanted to be aggressive as a bowling unit. Bowling bouncers was an aggressive plan for us. In the second innings, we went in with the approach that we have to focus on bowling the right areas and it worked for us.

On match situation
It’s good that we have seen off the new ball today and tomorrow hopefully will be a better day for us. The pitch is looking good and what got to them was pressure and disciplined bowling by our bowlers. I don’t think the pitch has changed a great deal and it is looking better if at all. The momentum is with us and we will look to capitalise on that.

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