If there is one cricketer who has reaped benefits to the maximum extent during India’s prolonged season of limited-overs cricket, it has to be Mohammed Shami. A mainstay in the Test squad, he somehow lost his regular spot for the white-ball assignments and despite forcing his way into the squad he was overlooked for the playing eleven.
But then he made full use of the limited chances he received and has overtaken Jasprit Bumrah to emerge as the main wicket-taker for India. And after his heroics against New Zealand in the third Twenty-20 International (T20I) where he saved three runs in five balls in the last over, it is more than fair to say Shami is here to stay in across formats.
Defending nine runs in the last over and forcing the match into a tie despite being hit for a six in the first ball was no mean task. And rightfully so, the world’s fastest bowler Shoaib Akhtar has also taken time to hail the efforts of Shami.
“Mohammed Shami is the best fast bowler in the world”: Shoaib Akhtar
“When Taylor hit Shami for a six in the first ball, I thought the match was over but that’s where the experience of Shami came into play. He realized there was a little bit of dew which will help the ball skid if he hits the length,” said Akhtar on his Youtube channel.
“Taylor hit me a lot through the midwicket region in my last match but unfortunately, he dragged the same shot onto his stumps on the last ball. But credit to Shami,” added Akhtar.
Akhtar also praised the intelligence of the Indian bowler due to the way he changes his pace and length. The Pakistani veteran even said that Shami is the find of Indian cricket and is the best fast bowler at the moment.
“Shami is a very clever bowler. He is the find of India and he is the best fast bowler in the world. Whatever situation you put him in, he always excels, whether it’s a World Cup or a T20 in New Zealand, he’s a very very smart fast bowler. When he got to know that yorkers won’t work, he immediately switched to length balls and bouncers,” said the former Pakistan speedster.
During the thriller in Hamilton, Shami was hit for a six in the very first delivery of the 20th over which forced him with the option to defend three off five deliveries. With a single in the next ball, Taylor gave the strike to captain Kane Williamson who was dismissed in the very next delivery.
Shami bowled another dot ball before the Kiwi batsmen scampered for a run out in the fifth delivery leaving the hosts in a situation requiring 1 run from 1 delivery. The 29-year-old then bowled a brilliant inswinging yorker to rattle Taylor’s stumps.
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