'I just love his seam presentation': Shaun Pollock identifies huge similarity with Mohammed Shami; 'He was on the money'
Former South Africa pacer Shaun Pollock pointed out a big similarity between him and Mohammed Shami.
India registered an emphatic 113-run victory over South Africa in the 1st Test of the three-match series in Centurion on Thursday. While KL Rahul's century on the first day of the game set the tone for India's dominance, the pace bowlers – led by Mohammed Shami's five-wicket haul in the first innings – delivered the knock-out punch against the hosts.
Shami took eight wickets in the game and also completed 200 Test wickets during the Centurion Test. Former South Africa cricketer Daryll Cullinan, impressed with Shami's skills with the ball, had earlier drawn his comparison with legendary former Proteas pacer Shaun Pollock and England's James Anderson.
“Just watch his seam position. It is perfectly up there. Watching him bowl reminded me on Pollock and Anderson that don't seem to waste the ball. He was on strike constantly with subtle variations and seam positions. It's not as if the batters are anticipating his line and length,” Cullinan had said on ESPNCricinfo.
Pollock has now reacted to the comparison, identifying similarities with Shami and lauding the Indian fast bowler on his consistency throughout the Centurion Test.
“Different actions. He's a bit more skinny than I was. But I think what Daryll (Cullinan) was referring to was that we always try to make people play. We don't try to waste deliveries,” Pollock told Dinesh Karthik on Cricbuzz.
“You want to be in and around the off-stump, (batters) almost feel like you can't leave it and make the batters come to you. So I think that's what he has done. I always enjoyed what I've seen from him. I just love his seam presentation, he led from the front. I had a feeling he was going to be really effective on this surface and it proved to be the case. The combination with Bumrah, who looked like it was going to be a huge blow with the ankle injury he had, came back and bowled superbly well. But Shami for definitely the pick,” Pollock said.
The former South African pacer further insisted that Shami was a close second for the player of the match award. KL Rahul won the award for his century in the first innings.
“He was mildly close to being the man of the match. We just think that this Test match was set up with 123 (from Rahul) up-front on the first day, but Shami was a real close second. He bowled brilliantly,” said the former SA captain.
“Sometimes you take a while to get going, but he didn't do it this time. Every over that he got, even if it was the first spell of the day, whether he came after lunch or tea, he was on the money and (was) asking all the questions. Just simply brilliant."