India vs England: Mohammed Shami benefitted from watching videos of James Anderson and Stuart Broad

Of the 82 wickets taken by Indian bowlers in this five-Test series, the pacers have shared 61 — Ishant (18), Shami (16), Jasprit Bumrah (14), Hardik Pandya (10) and Umesh Yadav (3).

Updated: Sep 11, 2018 08:51:14

By N Ananthanarayanan

Mohammed Shami (left) celebrates after dismissing Jonny Bairstow at the Oval on Monday. (AP)

The Indian fast bowling coming of age will be the silver lining in the back-to-back Test series defeats in South Africa and England. Indian bowlers took 20 wickets in six of the eight matches, though both series ended in defeat.

Of the 82 wickets taken by Indian bowlers in this five-Test series, the pacers have shared 61 — Ishant (18), Shami (16), Jasprit Bumrah (14), Hardik Pandya (10) and Umesh Yadav (3). However, the fast bowlers looked fatigued in the final Test at the Oval, and were hamstrung on Day 4 after Ishant Sharma left the field in the first over due to an ankle problem.

India had fielded only three pacers – all-rounder Hardik Pandya was dropped for debutant Hanuma Vihari as the sixth batsman – and Ishant’s absence meant extra workload.

It made life easier for Alastair Cook, who struck a brilliant 147 in his farewell Test, and skipper Joe Root, who made 125. India, hoping to draw the game, were 58/3 at stumps in their second innings going into the final day of the series.

Mohammed Shami beat the bat countless times without reward in the first innings. In the first innings, Cook, who hit 71, and Moeen Ali, 50, somehow survived his brilliant spells.


Shami has been the pick of the lot, but at the Oval, he didn’t get a wicket till his 34th over, until the second innings when he bowled opener Keaton Jennings. He had one more, Jonny Bairstow with the second new ball, but by then England were far ahead.

“Luck is also a factor,” he told reporters after Monday’s play. “When you bowl with the new ball, your first priority is line and length. Luck also determines whether you get a wicket or not, but it is definitely frustrating. I say unlucky because I beat the bat so many times. It’s okay, you have to accept it.”

At one point during England’s second innings, the official broadcasters reckoned he had beaten the bat 43 times in the match. There were a few more. Ishant’s absence didn’t help.

“It’s tough when you are a bowler short as the load will be higher. But it’s (Ishant injury) not that serious. It happens sometimes, when a bowler feels discomfort he leaves the field to prevent aggravating the injury. It’s all about the understanding among us bowlers, that we can do it even if we are a bowler short.”

Shami said watching the videos of England’s James Anderson and Stuart Broad was useful going into the series.

“We got to learn a lot. When I came in 2014, I was not this experienced or mature. This time I watched a lot of videos of Anderson and Broad, which areas they bowl, especially in England conditions.

“As you saw, compared to the last time, we were far better. We learnt, especially when you are playing in someone’s home ground, what they do, what you have to focus on. So, it was learning from them as well as gaining from the confidence of our own unit.”

First Published: Sep 11, 2018 08:50:33


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