Former South Africa cricketer Daryll Cullinan applauded Indian speedster Mohammed Shami after his five-wicket haul that saw the hosts bowled out for 197 on Day 3 of the Centurion Test, Cullinan. He also compared Shami to fast-bowling greats like Shaun Pollock and James Anderson as well.
Shami scaled 5 for 44 in South Africa’s first innings and he also became the fifth Indian pace bowler to claim 200 Test wickets as well. Cullinan praised him for his seam position and control. During a discussion on ESPN Cricinfo, the former South African cricketer opined on this.
He added: “His seam position is perfectly up there. Just watching him bowl today reminded me of the likes of (Shaun) Pollock, (James) Anderson. They don’t seem to waste a ball. If you’re on strike, there’s constantly that subtle variation and good seam positions. It is not as if you anticipate the line and length.”
He continued: “It’s that control which may vary, sort of a foot wide in the crease. It may be a foot fuller or shorter. He finds that in between length where you never know whether you should be forward or back. He’s constantly asking you questions. You can see there’s a thought process behind everything that he is doing.”
During the interaction, former India wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta also added that Mohammed Shami has worked hard on his fitness and his hard work is paying off as it has made him a much-improved bowler now as well.
He claimed: “Shami has worked very hard to bowl those long spells. In the last 2-3 years, he has picked up 4-5 five-fers. That also tells you that it wasn’t his potential or his skill set, it was his fitness that was letting him down. Last 3-4 years, he’s been absolutely brilliant and he has got smarter as well. He uses the crease really well and today was a great example of him using the crease.”
However, apart from Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Shardul Thakur also claimed two wickets each as Team India have taken a significant first-innings lead so far. Dasgupta also shared his views on India’s frequent batting collapses which have become a matter of concern. “This has been happening way too often in the last few years.” He added, “For India, make sure you bat South Africa out of the game. They need to make sure a South African win is not an option post lunch on Day 4,” he concluded.