Rohit crowns Shami as 'Master of Reverse Swing'
- Shami took 5/35 to take the sting out of South Africa's chase of a 395-run target on the final day of the first Test
- The visitors were bowled out for 191 in their second innings to lose by 203 runs
- Rohit and Mayank in batting and Ashwin, Shami and Jadeja among the bowlers were the heroes of India's win
VISAKHAPATNAM: In effectively nullifying South African chase, the Indians had reason to celebrate Mohammed Shami’s five-for at the ACA-VDCA Stadium on Sunday.
The visitors started the final day at 11/1 and Ashwin got rid of TB Bruyn immediately, but it was Shami who hogged the limelight.
SA looked out of sorts facing up to him on a pitch where the cracks got bigger as the match progressed. Still, the situation called for a skillful bowler who could exploit the conditions. Shami rose to the occasion with two torrid spells in the morning session and Rohit Sharma was all praise for his effort.
The duo had made their Test debut together in Kolkata.
“I still remember our debut together in Kolkata where the pitch wasn’t exactly like this. He knows how to bowl on these pitches, gets reverse swing straight into play. It isn’t easy to bowl when the reverse is happening. You need to pitch the ball in the right area, make sure the ball is just around the off stump.
"He has mastered that art now, bowling with the old ball and getting it to reverse,” Rohit said.
It suited Shami that he made the batsmen play and clueless that they were, they shouldered arms.
“These type of conditions are ideal for him. It is tough for the batsmen on this particular pitch where the ball is misbehaving. Batsmen don’t know which way it will reverse swing.”
“He kept really well. It is not easy for the ’keeper in these conditions because the odd ball turns and stays low. Even today, to balls which did not carry, his put his body behind to make sure runs are not offered easily,” he said added that Saha adds value when the team opts for DRS.
The conditions, Rohit said, played a part in bowlers operating in short bursts.
“It was humid out there. So we wanted Shami and Ishant to be fresh in case there was no help for the spinners. At the end, they were not getting much help.”