'You guys were sitting in AC, I was out in the heat': Shami leaves broadcaster bewildered after career-best ODI figures
Mohammed Shami picked his career-best ODI figures with a second five-wicket haul during the 1st IND vs AUS match in Mohali.
Mohammed Shami is not finished just yet. The India pacer, playing just his third international game since May of this year, registered career-best figures of 5/51 – only his second five-wicket-haul in ODIs – in the series opener between India and Australia at Mohali's PCA Stadium. Shami, replacing Mohammed Siraj – in red hot form himself with a six-for against Sri Lanka last Sunday at the Asia Cup – struck with the new ball and old and gave selectors a good headache heading into the World Cup. With Siraj's unprecedented rise, questions were beginning to be asked of Shami's future, but with a fire-breathing spell on Friday, the 33-year-old has discarded any such lingering doubts.
Reflecting on his own performance, Shami acknowledged the outcome is a result of years of team bonding. Indian pacers have been on a roll since the Asia Cup – first with Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah making the ball talk and now Shami giving everyone a timely reminder of his bowling threat. On a deck that did not have much to offer for the bowlers, Shami gave his team the perfect start, dismissing Mitchell Marsh cheaply in the first over and the returning to pick four more as Australia were all out for 276.
"We enjoy each other's success a lot. We have spent the last so many years together and this is a result of the same. When you operate with the new ball, you have the responsibility of finding the right line and length, set the tempo and that's exactly what I wanted to do today," Shami said while talking to the host broadcaster during the innings interval.
Shami, like his fellow pacers, felt the heat… quite literally. The scorching hot weather in Mohali did not make life easy for pacers, as both Shami and Bumrah were taken off after a four-over initial burst. Shami in particular looked to be the worst affected as he left the field after finishing his opening spell. However, when he returned for his second – in the 22nd over – to dismiss Steve Smith, his batteries had replenished.
Shami climbs up the ladder
With wickets in both the opening and middle phase of the innings, Shami bowled immaculately in the death overs as well, using the slower ball to good use and dismissed the dangerous Marcus Stoinis before taking out Matthew Short and Sean Abbott off back-to-back deliveries to become India's second-highest wicket-taker in ODIs against Australia, behind only the legendary Kapil Dev.
On being asked whether the heat was unbearable, Shami left the broadcasters bewildered with an epic comment before explaining the satisfaction of picking wickets throughout the innings.
"You guys were in the AC, I was there out in the heat. There was not much the fast bowlers were getting out of the wicket so the slower deliveries were a good option to turn to. If they land in the right areas, the results can really go in your favour. It's important to mix things up. The team needed and it's good feeling to get wickets when you're putting in so much effort. It's good for the team and your own confidence," he added.
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