Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra said that Mohammed Shami is India’s No.1 Test pacer who can bowl in any conditions.
Shami bagged five wickets for 44 runs to decimate South Africa’s batting line-up as they were bowled out for 197 in the first innings. In the course of his spectacular spell, Shami completed 200 Test wickets, becoming the fifth Indian pacer to do so.
Shami continued his brilliant form as he nabbed three more wickets in the second innings to destabilise South Africa’s lower order as India sealed a 113-run win in Centurion.
Mohammed Shami bowls on dangerous areas consistently: Aakash Chopra
Chopra said that Shami bowls with tight areas around the stumps and explained why he picked him No.1 ahead of Jasprit Bumrah.
“You look at Bumrah because he’s special. But if we equalize every condition, India’s number one Test pacer is Mohammad Shami, especially at this point in time. He asks questions with the delivery of his. He took five wickets against this team in Vishakhapatnam as well and now he took a fifer at Centurion,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“We saw sideways movement from Ngidi, Rabada’s pace and saw Bumrah’s magic. But what about Shami? Shami doesn’t bowl a magic delivery as Bumrah does. But he bowls on dangerous areas consistently and releases the ball with so close to the stumps. Who bowled the most deliveries on the fourth stump? Who bowled the maximum deliveries that were hitting on top of off? – It was sensational Shami,” he added.
Jasprit Bumrah is a national asset: Aakash Chopra
Bumrah changed the shape of the game for India in the fourth innings as he picked a couple of wickets at the end of Day 4 to bring his side back in the game when South Africa displayed solid defence.
Despite South Africa skipper Dean Elgar’s stoic defence in the first session that gave the hosts a glimpse of hope that the game might turn in their favour. However, a buoyant Bumrah got India the much-needed breakthrough as he trapped Elgar before the stumps for LBW. Chopra called the Indian speedster a national asset.
“Jasprit Bumrah is a national asset. He’s a treasure. We are so fortunate that our fast bowling unit has matured together. Bumrah took important wickets at important phases of the game. He set the tone by dismissing Dean Elgar in the very first over (first innings). Then, on Day 4 when there was a partnership building up for South Africa, he bowled a magical ball to van der Dussen. Then Keshav Maharaj came to the crease, and mind you, he bats well,” Chopra said.
“Bumrah wonderfully bowled a yorker to dismiss him. He then took Elgar out again but with a different kind of delivery. I mean he (Bumrah) is brilliant, man,” he added.
India will play against South Africa in the second Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, the match starts on January 3.