Mohammed Shami, pick of the bowlers on Day 1, claimed that the bowlers did their part on the first day of the tour, but stressed that it would be imperative for the batsmen to back the good work up on the second day. Shami reckoned that the bowlers put in a great shift to bowl the hosts out for 183.
The Indian bowlers set the tone for the five-Test series on the first day of the tour, as despite being forced into bowling first, the visitors put up a picture-perfect performance to leave the hosts in tatters. Jasprit Bumrah struck in the very first over, but it was Mohammed Shami who carved the English batting open. The right-armer accounted for the crucial wickets of Dom Sibley, Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence, and it was his double-strike in the 51st over that turned the tide in the visitors’ favor. Unlike in the WTC Final, the Indian seamers found their length from the get go, and the upshot was that they managed to bowl Joe Root’s side for a paltry 183.
According to Shami, though, the job is only half done. Shami lauded the bowlers for their efforts on the first day that has put India ahead in the match, but insisted that consolidating the advantage now lies in the hands of the batters, who he feels will need to play with caution in the first hour of the second day.
"We should make a good score and take the lead. We are in a good position because any team you bowl out for 183 at its home is a good performance," Shami said at the post-day press conference.
"Now the thing is that we need to focus on the first hour and according to me the ball has not done much, the way we bowled in the day, we bowled in the right length and accordingly you have got wickets
“Our first innings, the bowling part is over. Our batting part is left. I will say only one thing, you need to play the first hour with caution, because you should not lose your focus, be in control, so the first thing is to achieve this score and then think about the lead. The main focus will be to score 183 and after that whatever comes,” Shami added.
While it was a day to remember for India from a team perspective, Day 1 was also, arguably, Shami’s best ever in English soil. After finding himself remarkably unlucky in the 2018 tour - which eventually resulted in his bowling average in the country jumping over 40 - the Bengal speedster reaped the rewards for adjusting his length. Shami bowled fuller than usual and it resulted in not just him picking three crucial wickets, but also finishing with the best ER amongst all Indian bowlers.
The 30-year-old, who headed into Day 1 with an underwhelming record in England, insisted that it is imperative for cricketers to live in the present and added that Test cricket is all about doing the basics right.
“Test matches are all about patience. Forget what has happened in the past, we have to think about the present situation, we don’t have to think much.
“In my opinion, Test matches are very simple - the more you focus on the basics, the more you’ll have the chances to succeed. If you overthink, you will tend to leak runs and it’s an unnecessary add-on (of pressure).
“I think you should focus on the basics and play according to the situation. We work without thinking too much and that’s what makes us more successful," he added.
The pacer, who tilted the first day in India’s favor, further quipped that he ‘did not know’ why wickets evaded him in England, but asserted that, regardless of conditions, he will back his skills to come good.
"I don’t know why I wasn’t getting (wickets) in England (laughs). But it doesn’t matter if it’s England, Australia or wherever, I believe in my skill and back myself," Shami said