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Wickets in India on slower side but there's enough for pacers: Shami

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Last updated on 17 Feb 2023 | 03:07 PM
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Wickets in India on slower side but there's enough for pacers: Shami

The pacer was the pick of the Indian bowlers on Day One of the Delhi Test, finishing with figures of 4 for 60

Amid talk of how Australia are going to tackle spin, fast bowler Mohammad Shami with figures of 4 for 60 was the pick of the Indian bowlers on Day One of the second Test in Delhi. He started things off for India with the wicket of David Warner in the first session, and then returned to get rid of Travis Head, Nathan Lyon and debutant Matthew Kuhnemann, with the last two wickets falling with the ball reversing.

Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja too played their parts picking up three wickets apiece to help India restrict the Aussies to 263, following fifties from Usman Khawaja (81) and Peter Handscomb (72*).

"There is not a lot of difference you see with wickets in India. If you can get help with the new ball and can get the old ball to reverse... As a fast bowler, the main thing in Indian conditions is the area you bowl in and you have to maintain pace all along," Shami said in an interaction with the media after the day's play.

"The pitch here is not much different from Nagpur though runs were coming for Australia [in the morning session]. But I tried to bowl in the right areas."

Shami believers that India's pacers have tasted a lot of success over the years due to the hard work they have put in at the domestic level.

"We all have come from domestic cricket. All the fast bowlers have done well and they know how to exploit the home conditions. It won't be right to say the Indian conditions are more suited to spinners or pacers," the pacer from Amroha said.

"Even recently in domestic cricket, pacers have done well. Focus should be on line and length and maintaining pace. With that you can succeed in all conditions. Even on Indian wickets there is enough. Kuch nai toh reverse milega [if not anything else, you will get reverse swing]."

Speaking on how the pitch is behaving, Shami said, "There is not a lot of difference. Indian wickets are on the slower side side but there is still enough for the pacers." 

"We have been told since the early days that Indian pitches don't help the pacers. But short ball is always a good weapon in India. If it beats the batter it is good, and if the player has to play at it, it's even better, with the short leg on."

Shami also refused to get drawn into comparison of bowling with Mohammed Siraj vs bowling with Jasprit Bumrah, but emphasised on the importance of bowling in pairs.

"Comparison is not fair, bowlers come and go. We will also go. Bowling in pairs is very important. We have seen its benefits in Indian cricket over the past six-seven years. We enjoy each other's success and that is the main reason for the collective performance," the fast bowler believes.

Warner a bit weary

David Warner was hit on the hand and also his hit by Mohammed Siraj during his stay at the crease. As a result, he did not come out to field when India came out to bat. Opening batter Usman Khawaja said that the medical staff will assess him and his participation in the Test will be assessed accordingly.

"The medical staff will have to assess tomorrow, he is a little bit weary at the moment," Khawaja said at the press conference."

"He obviously got a knock to the arm and then to the head, I think the head made him a little bit weary at the moment and couldn't come out to field. The staff will have to figure out what happens from here."

Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul successfully negotiated the nine overs, but India still trail Australia by 242 runs. India have a 1-0 lead in the four-match series after beating Australia by an innings and 132 runs in the first Test in Nagpur.

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