IND vs SA: Bumrah closing in on huge milestone; Shami 5 strikes away from joining Kapil, Zaheer, Srinath in elite list
- While India will once again rely on their two most senior pacers to deliver the goods against South Africa, it is to be noted that Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are on the verge of might impressive individual milestones.
For the first time since September, the pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are likely to be back leading the Indian pace attack in Test cricket. Bumrah and Shami last played a Test together at the Oval, where India registered a famous win. Ever since, while the pair took part in the T20 World Cup, they have been kept away from Test due to workload management.
Bumrah and Shami were rested for the two-Test series against New Zealand but as a more formidable opponent becks, the fast-bowling duo, in all probability will return for the opening match, the Boxing Day Test between India and South Africa starting Sunday. While India will once again rely on their two most senior pacers to rock South Africa, it is to be noted that Bumrah and Shami are on the verge of might impressive individual milestones.
Bumrah has picked up 101 wickets from 24 Test, and it is fascinating to point out that only four of them have come playing in India. Yes, Bumrah has 97 wickets overseas and needs only three strikes to complete 100 wickets overseas. If he can pick up three wickets at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, it will mark the completion of a wonderful cycle for the 28-year-old as it was in South Africa back in 2018 that Bumrah made his Test debut.
Meanwhile, Shami is on the cusp of a fine milestone himself. With 195 wickets, Shami is only five more away from completing 200 Test wickets. Provided he can get there, the 31-year-old Shami will join a rare and elite list of Indian bowlers. Only four Indian pacers – Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Javagal Srinath have picked up 200 Test wickets for India, and Shami would be eyeing to become the fifth in the list.
Shami also has the second-best bowling strike-rate in Test in South Africa. For bowlers with a minimum of 100 overs, Shami's strike-rate reads 45.2 (in 158.3 overs across five Tests), next only to Venkatesh Prasad. Bumrah in fourth with 48, a rung below Sreesanth and above Srinath.