Batting great Sunil Gavaskar has said that Mohammed Shami’s absence was badly felt by the Indian bowling lineup on the opening day of the fourth Test in Mumbai. With Shami missing, Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings put up a 99-run opening stand for the visitors who ended the day at 288/5.
Mohammed Shami was missing from the starting lineup of the fourth Test after failing to recover from a sore knee. The 26-year-old has been a key presence for India in this series. With 10 wickets in 3 matches, Shami is the highest wicket-taker among the pacers in the series so far. The Bengal pacer had continuously troubled Cook in the series, and Gavaskar pointed out that his absence made it easy for the England skipper to prosper.
"Shami's injury has affected India, He has troubled Alastair Cook in the series. But today, Cook looked comfortable. Shami has the ability to extract some extra bounce off the surface. Shami is an impact bowler and his absence is keenly felt,” Gavaskar said, reported NDTV.
Gavaskar was also impressed by the English debutant Keaton Jennings who played a brilliant knock of 112 runs on the opening day. He said, "I was impressed by Keaton Jennings' temperament. The young man looks a promising player for England. Temperament is what separates the boys from the men. Players can work on their technique, but temperament is key in Test cricket.”
Gavaskar also felt that Virat Kohli made mistakes with his bowling changes in the first innings, as England finished with 400 runs on the board.
"Virat should have brought Jadeja on much earlier. He used the new ball bowlers for too long. There should have been a change when Umesh Yadav was being hammered. These are little things. But on the whole, Virat did nothing wrong. I was impressed with his captaincy," Gavaskar added.