Cricket

Mohammed Shami deadly in the fourth: Rohit Sharma

Wrong call: Faf du Plessis is totally baffled by this one from Mohammed Shami.

Wrong call: Faf du Plessis is totally baffled by this one from Mohammed Shami.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

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du Plessis sees positives in the manner in which South Africa put up a fight

Rohit Sharma believes on certain fourth-innings pitches, Mohammed Shami is even more dangerous than spinners.

Shami has been very effective in the second innings for India. Since 2018, in 15 second innings he has picked up 40 wickets at 17.70 (strike rate 32.1).

Rohit said, “He is used to bowling in these conditions. I remember my debut Test in Kolkata in 2013, it was Shami’s first Test also. And, on a slow, low-bounce wicket at the Eden Gardens, he ran through the West Indies in the second innings with five wickets.”

He added, “Shami is at the stumps and has reverse-swing. It is not easy to bowl reverse, the margin for error is low.”

Asked about Wriddhiman Saha’s wicketkeeping in the Test, Rohit answered, “It was a difficult pitch to keep on. The bounce was uneven and sometimes Saha had to put his body on the line. I thought he kept very well.”

Rishabh Pant, at the same time, should continue to work hard on his ’keeping, felt Rohit. “Pant has batted very well for India. He is working on his ’keeping. Even in the West Indies, after every session, he would walk up to Saha. Saha loves to guide Pant.”

On the criticism he has faced, Rohit, Man-of-the-Match here for centuries in both innings in his first Test as opener, said, “I don’t let things bother me. I put a shield around me.”

Despite the defeat here, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis said, “I am proud of the manner we fought back in the first innings. Senior players, Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock put their hands up. It was a brilliant response. There is a lot of confidence in the dressing room because of that.”

He added, “We brought the game close, but could not convert some half chances in the Indian second innings. Nearly 400 as a target was a bit too much on this pitch of uneven bounce.”

Oh, for a Kallis!

Going forward in the series, du Plessis said the South Africans could consider playing another paceman in the eleven but lamented the lack of pace-bowling all-rounders who could have given the line-up balance. “There is no Jacques Kallis now,” he said.

du Plessis was impressed by Senuran Muthusamy’s batting under pressure in his first Test. “He was very good, applied himself and put numbers against his name. He can bowl too.”

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 3:31:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/mohammed-shami-deadly-in-the-fourth-rohit-sharma/article29611545.ece

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