South Africa left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj refused to look deep into the poor form of Tabraiz Shamsi, saying it is a matter of time before the left-arm wrist-spinner bounces back to form. Shamsi conceded 89 runs from eight overs in the first ODI against India at Lucknow though he took out debutant Ruturaj Gaikwad for 19.
“I don’t think he really had a poor outing. I know figures don’t always show a true reflection of how someone bowled. The Indian batters had to take someone on and unfortunately, it was him on the day. I thought he held his nerve really nicely at the back end.”
“He obviously picked up a crucial wicket at that stage and opened up an end for us. I don’t think he is a concern. We know what Shammo is capable of and it’s only a matter of time before he bounces back,” said Maharaj in a pre-match press conference on the eve of the second ODI on Sunday.
India are fielding a side where there is no mainstay, with all of them preparing in Perth for the Men’s T20 World Cup later in the month in Australia. Maharaj felt that the ODI side fielded by India is still to be taken seriously by the visitors’.
“I don’t think this is a second-string Indian side. They have so much talent that they could field four or five proper international sides. Shikhar Dhawan has played a lot of ODIs and Shreyas Iyer has a lot of experience and there’s someone like Sanju Samson (in the team).”
“Having said that, a lot of the guys have IPL and have international experience. There are world-class performers out there. It’s always nice to play well against India. Obviously, you want to prepare yourself. They have a world-class batting lineup.”
With the ODI series a part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League which determines qualification for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India, every match becomes very crucial for South Africa, currently in 12th place to be among the top eight sides eligible for automatic qualification.
“There’s always pressure when you play against a team like India. We are not focused on the (ODI) World Cup or the Super League points. We know that it is something we need to play for. We want to put in good performances and hopefully, the rest will take care of itself,” concluded Maharaj.