On the final day of the first Test in Visakhapatnam, Indian pacer Mohammed Shami rattled the South African batting line-up with a fiery spell. Shami cleaned up Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, and Quinton de Kock before lunch to leave the hosts reeling at 60 for five.
In the post-lunch session, the Proteas lower order provided some resistance led by Dane Piedt, who played a gritty knock of 56 off 107 balls. However, it was Shami, who again provided the crucial breakthrough.
Piedt, along with debutant Senuran Muthusamy delayed India’s win with a 91-run stand for the ninth wicket. Shami, bowling his first spell after the lunch break, was on the mark with his first ball as he found the inside edge of Piedt’s bat, and the ball went straight onto the stumps.
Chasing a hefty target of 395 runs, South Africa were finally bundled out for 191 runs when Shami sent back Kagiso Rabada packing for 18.
Biryani behind Shami’s lethal pace
In the post-match press conference, ‘Man of the Match’ Rohit Sharma was asked about Shami’s brilliance and the reason behind the seamer’s consistent pace and good yorkers. The Hitman said a fresh Shami is always dangerous while also revealing the pacer’s love for Biryani. “We all know when Shami is fresh what he can do. Along with some Biryani,” said Rohit as the reporters burst out in laughter.
Rohit also credited Shami for having ‘mastered bowling with the old ball’ while adding that the bowler makes it look easy when it’s not so.
“Shami, we have seen him in these conditions not just today but previously as well. I still remember our debut together in Kolkata, where the pitch was lower and slower on days 4-5, and he knows how to bowl on those pitches. He gets reverse-swing straight into play once he knows there is some help that is on offer. It’s not easy to bowl when you know it’s reversing. You need to pitch it in the right areas; you need to make sure that the ball is just around off-stump; otherwise, sometimes you can leak a lot of runs as well.
“So I guess he has mastered that pretty well by now, bowling with the old ball and trying the ball to reverse. These kinds of conditions are pretty ideal for him, getting batsmen to play all six balls which is slightly tough for batsmen on such pitches,” added Rohit.