Former South African pacer Morne Morkel lavished praise on Indian fast bowler, Mohammed Shami, who took eight wickets in the first Test against South Africa before providing the breakthrough on Day 1 of the Johannesburg Test.
Shami also took a five-wicket haul in the process and became the fifth pacer from India to take 200 wickets in a Test match. He has had the number of Aiden Markram in particular, having dismissed him thrice in three innings so far. Speaking about Shami on Star Sports, Morkel said:
“He’s just a fine-tuned engine at the moment. He’s running in, landing the ball in the perfect areas consistently. He’s making the ball talk and making the life of South African batters very hard.”
“Bumrah-Shami partnership just creates wickets” – Morne Morkel
India’s rise in Test cricket is mainly attributed to the development of fast bowlers, especially Jasprit Bumrah and Shami. The duo bowling in tandem is one of the scariest sights for a batter in world cricket.
“The (Jasprit) Bumrah and Shami partnership just creates wickets. Even when they finish, the batters think ‘okay we can score now’ so India can pick up wickets even then. We spoke about him. Shami is someone who is really respected in the South African dressing room. They work on different game plans against him but so far, he’s just been too good,” Morkel added.
Having lost Day 1 to South Africa, India began their comeback into the game on the back of Shardul Thakur’s stunning spell just moments before Lunch on Day 2. He picked up three wickets – Dean Elgar, Keegan Petersen, and Rassie van der Dussen – to push South Africa onto the backfoot.