After proving to be India’s second innings hero once again with a five-fer, Mohammad Shami revealed that he and Ishant Sharma only planned on attacking the stumps. Shami’s spell, assisted by cracks and variable bounce, was crucial to India bowling out South Africa on day five at Vizag.
India continued their merry way at the top of the ICC Test Championship table with a third consecutive win — this time by 203 runs against South Africa. Setting an improbable 394 runs to win, South Africa started the final day of play at 11 for one. Although they weathered the spin-storm on a slow pitch very well, they were hit by India’s second innings specialist Shami, who returned with figures of five for 35.
“In the second innings, the variable bounce and reverse would be beneficial for us. It was visible that the batsman's discomfort zone was that stump-line and you can see the result. It was of utmost importance for us to remove the first 4-5 batsmen as soon as possible,” Shami said post-match, reported Cricbuzz.
"It would always be difficult (to bat) as the wicket was slow and low. We had plans to attack the stumps between the two fast bowlers. We have been supporting each other well for the last 4-5 years. The more we would attack the stumps, the better it would be for us,” Shami said.
Despite only getting one in the second innings, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s seven-wicket haul in the first innings was also vital for India’s cause. Ravindra Jadeja provided ample support to Ashwin by picking up six wickets, which includes a four for 87 in the second innings.
“In the first innings, of course, Ashwin was fantastic for us. Thank you so much to the Vizag crowd for all the support,” Shami added.
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