Mohammed Shami says consistent line key to success against West Indies
Mohammed Shami made a perfect start to the West Indies tour when he picked up 4 wickets in the first innings of the first Test match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. India scored a mammoth 566 runs with the help of a brilliant double-century by skipper Virat Kohli supported by a ton from all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin.
West Indies, meanwhile, were bowled out for 243 mainly due to the brilliant bowling from Mohammed Shami whilst Umesh Yadav and Amit Mishra also chipped in with a couple of wickets. Having played 12 Tests (before this match), the bowler from Bengal had picked up 47 wickets, while he has 87 wickets under his name in the shorter format.
As per the reports of India today he said, "We had batted on this wicket and knew that it was a slow wicket. The plan was to bowl at a consistent spot for long periods of time and that is why we were successful."
This was the first Test match Mohammed Shami played in 18 months since he was struck with a knee injury back in 2015 during the ICC Cricket World Cup. Though, it looking he was never out of action, such was his impact on the field.
"It has almost been 18 months since I last played a Test. I got injured in Australia and underwent a surgery. My wife helped me a lot through the period as I was bedridden for two months. In the same time, our baby (daughter) was born and that calmed me down as I was upset at getting injured since I was bowling really well.
“The birth of my baby helped me take the focus away from the game and I could re-energise myself,” said the veteran of 12 Tests.
Mohammed Shami also reveals that bowling the short ball was the trick to his excellent spell. He stated, "On slow wickets, the batsmen don't expect the short ball. So, that was our plan to bowl the short delivery as it would fetch us wickets." He has now jointly become the fastest Indian pacer to reach 50 wickets.
India will play three more Test matches in the tour and is on the verge of winning a third consecutive Test series win in the Caribbean islands. This is the first tour of the Indian Cricket Team under their newly appointed coach Anil Kumble.