Mohammed Shami pleased with India’s first-day comeback

02 Aug, 2018 8:40 am

NEW DEHLI (92 News) – India did exceedingly well to bring England down from 216/3 to 285/9 on the first day of the Edgbaston Test, going to stumps with a slight upper hand.

The momentum swung after Virat Kohli sent Joe Root back with a direct hit from mid-wicket. That ended Root’s stay at 80 and the partnership with Jonny Bairstow at 104, and although Bairstow went on to score 70, wickets fell in a heap for England in the last session.

Ravichandran Ashwin was India’s leading bowler on the day with 4/60, but Mohammed Shami was impressive too, picking up two of the first three wickets to fall, of Keaton Jennings and Dawid Malan.

“The pitch is a little slow, there is hard work for sure, we had to maintain a good line and length all day,” pointed out Shami. “It was a little tough at the start because the pitch was slow and a little damp. By the evening, though, it became better. As a bowling unit, we did well after they were 216/3.

“When you bowl on such pitches, you get an idea of how it will behave and what you need to do. So there weren’t many changes in our approach during the day but we tried to hit the right lines and lengths and not to give any width.”

England had their partnerships early on. After Alastair Cook fell to Ashwin with England on 26, Jennings and Root added 72 for the second wicket. Then there was the Root-Bairstow stand, which might have done more but for the run out.

When such partnerships develop, patience is the key on the part of the fielding side. “In a Test match, there is time and you can come back if there is a good partnership,” agreed Shami.

Mohammed Shami had a good time on the South African pitches earlier this year

Shami had a good time in South Africa earlier this year, picking up 15 wickets in three Tests as India lost 2-1. But he hasn’t played much cricket since then because of injuries, and when he has, he hasn’t been among the wickets.

“It’s just that I have not been playing matches, but when we get injured, we work very hard, we go through training and rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy, we are in the nets constantly. So when we get back to play, we make our plans and return to action,” said Shami.

The return has been a good one, with Shami, denied the new ball in Birmingham, still finishing the first day as the best of the Indian pacers. The job isn’t done yet, though.

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