India registered a hard-fought win in the first of the three-match series against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday, March 17. KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja forged a 108-run stand for the sixth wicket to guide India over the line in a tricky run chase.
After opting to field first, the home team rattled the Aussies with wickets at regular intervals, with Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj scalping three wickets a piece. The duo dismantled the Australian batting unit and bundled them out for 188 runs in the first innings.
In the post-match press conference, Shami lauded his bowling partner for his growth in the white-ball format and said, "It has been a long time since Bumrah has not been playing, and it's our hard luck that he is not there. But we (Siraj) have a good overall bowling unit for white and red ball formats, and we support each other a lot."
“It felt alright from the first ball of the second spell. The ball was coming off nicely from the release. We talked about the seam position, but the focus was to keep the ball in good areas because they were playing on the back foot,” he further added.
In recent times with numerous players being plagued with injuries, there has been an increasing talk about workload management with the World Test Championship final and the ODI World Cup later this year.
However, the veteran seamer feels it is upon the individuals to be watchful and manage it with the marquee series in the future.
“There’s still time for the WTC final and the ODI World Cup, and as a player, it is not possible to think that far ahead. You need to be smart in managing your workload. When you play international cricket, you know how much you need to work,” he said.
"You understand your body well, so you should not think long-term. I know my body well and can handle the workload, so I am taking it match by match,” he further added.
The right-arm pacer also heaped praises on KL Rahul for finding some form after a lukewarm Border-Gavaskar Trophy by scoring a match-winning 75* to bail India out of early trouble in the run chase.
"We talk a lot about pressure, players returning to form, but a player always tries to play a good innings, make a good start for his team. He has played so many good innings in the past," Shami said.
"Sometimes luck does not favour you, or things are not working out well if you are trying to do something. The pressure was certainly there, we had lost so many wickets in quickly, but the way he rebuilt, it was nice to see him make runs in a pressure situation," he concluded.
The two sides will now lock horns in the second ODI on Sunday, March 19, in Visakhapatnam.