Mohammed Shami credited the bowlers for India’s strong finish to day one of the first Test against England at Edgbaston.
On Yorkshire day, two Yorkshire batsmen – Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow – were giving the English fans all the reasons to smile. England were in a spot of bother after being reduced to 112 for three before the pair put the hosts in command.
Batting on 80, Root was run out by his Indian counterpart, Virat Kohli which ended the 104-run stand.
From thereon, it was just one-way traffic, as India struck at regular intervals to grab the opening day honours. At stumps, England were 285 for nine.
Speaking after the day’s play, Shami had a word of praise for his fellow bowlers for the performance that brought India back in the game.
“As you have seen the wicket is a little slower. There is hard work for sure; we have to maintain a good line and length all day. It was a little tough initially because it was slow and a little damp. As the day went on, the wicket came good. As a bowling unit we have stopped them well from 216-3, you can see what we have done,” Shami said.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the standout bowler for the visitors. The spinner began the series by castling Alastair Cook with a gem of a delivery.
He then dismissed Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad to finish with four for 60.
On the other hand, the pacers had to toil hard. However, barring Umesh Yadav, who was all over the place, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma bowled their heart out although they did not get much in return. While Ishant picked up one wicket, Shami managed to get two.
“Initially when you bowl on such wickets here you get an idea how it will behave. And what you need to keep doing. So there weren’t many changes in our approach during the day. But we tried to control line and length through the day. And try not to give any width. The lesser the width to batsmen, the better,” he said.
When asked if there was any communication between the bowlers, as to who would attack and who would play the containing role, Shami said that would change depending on the batsmen and conditions.
“If you see in a Test match, there is a lot of time, and you can come back if there is a good partnership. You bowl according to the wicket and batsmen, so as a captain or as a bowler, you get to think. You can assess situations as per the wicket, how much grass is there or not, and that’s how you choose your bowling unit and then work on the basis of that. You have to work within that unit and believe that you can win,” said Shami.
James Anderson and Sam Curran will start the proceedings with the bat on day two.