The Board of Control for Cricket in India

A challenging pitch for pacers: Shami

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As Australia piled on the runs in the first innings at the SCG, one Indian bowler kept pegging away at wickets. Mohammad Shami returned 5 for 112 in 28.3 overs – his second five-wicket haul in Tests and first overseas.

After his bowling effort, Shami said it was satisfying to pick a fiver on a wicket that had nothing in it for the bowlers and that it was tough job for the fast bowlers in particular.

“On such wickets a fast bowler needs to concentrate more on his line and length,” Shami said. “The batsmen can play easy shots on a slow wicket and it is a challenge for us to get them out.”

While he achieved success in the first innings of the fourth Test, India’s overall performance in the series has been deemed inconsistent and uninspiring. The captain and the bowling coach have admitted that at different times. When asked why is it that the Australian bowlers have managed to follow a disciplined plan and the Indians haven’t, Shami cited the factor of home advantage.

“The Australian bowlers are playing at home. They are used to bowling on these wickets and know exactly which areas to bowl in,” he said. “We were trying to do it as well but they batted really well and built their innings well. We tried to maintain the right length but missed at times.

Shami also defended his team saying despite what the scoreline shows, India have not succumbed without a fight.

“It’s not fair to say that we have struggled because if they are scoring 500 runs, we are scoring 400-plus too. It’s just that we haven’t been able to click at the right moment.”

With the Test series in its fag end and the tri-series approaching followed by the World Cup, Shami said the experience of being in the Australian conditions for the last two months will auger well for him and the team.

“Having been here for so long now, seen the wickets and understood the conditions will be really helpful to us going into the World Cup. It was very important for me as an individual as well since this is my first tour here,” he said.