Senior fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who led an incredible bowling performance to set up India’s eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in Raipur and clinch the series with a match to go, attributed his success in Saturday’s match to working a lot with the ball in practice.
Shami picked up 3/18, making immediate impact with the new ball, in an excellent display of seam bowling in power-play alongside Mohammed Siraj and reduced New Zealand to 15/5 in 11 overs. Though New Zealand were able to cross the 100-run mark, a target of 109 was easily hunted down by India in 20.1 overs.
“Whenever I start, I just focus on maintaining the right lines and lengths. But it does happen sometimes that you bowl well and yet don’t get wickets. On other days you may not be in rhythm, and will still get wickets. That happens. I feel that the more you work with the ball in practice, the more success will come,” said Shami in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Shami, who got the Player of the Match award, expressed happiness over his straight seam position, which is the delight of many cricket fans in the world. “I never thought I’d get to have a proper seam position and it gives me joy to see the seam upright as it goes in the air. As a new-ball bowler, it’s important to assess the conditions and pass the message quickly to the other bowlers as well.”
Shubman Gill, who remained unbeaten on 40, was pleased over carrying his bat throughout the successful chase for India. “This was a good opportunity for me to spend some time in the middle, and happy that I have come back not out. We were expecting there would be more for their fast bowlers, but after the five bowlers it was good to bat on. It did grip a little for Santner and Bracewell.”
Hardik Pandya, who took two wickets in a brilliant bowling display for India, stated that the plan for the bowling group was to hit right line and lengths on a pitch with some grass cover. “I am just getting used to bowling in ODIs again. Every game the body is feeling better. This is happening at the right moment. What we did well was hit good areas rather than trying too many things. This was a day when everything kept going to the fielders.”