Senior India pacer Mohammed Shami looked at his absolute best in his first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 against New Zealand. Shami warmed the bench for India in their first four matches of the competition, but the injury to all-rounder Hardik Pandya forced captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid to make changes in the lineup.
Shami made an instant impact in the match, removing the Kiwi opener Will Young on his very first delivery. He then continued to shine and completed an incredible five-wicket haul.
Shami looked dangerous with the ball and was on the verge of achieving a hat-trick at a moment in the match. In the 48th over, he removed Mitchell Santner and Matt Henry with brilliant back-to-back deliveries but was unable to take the hat-trick.
On the 4th ball of the over, Mohammed Shami bowled a deadly yorker to Santner who couldn’t get his bat down in time and saw his stumps getting destroyed. On the next ball, Shami bowled a full-length delivery that sent the stumps of Matt Henry flying.
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Overall, Shami has got a great record in World Cups as he has bagged 36 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 15.02 and a strike rate of 17.6. He has also become the first Indian in the history of cricket to bag two five-wicket hauls in ODI World Cups.
Former India opening batsman Wasim Jaffer was highly impressed with the bowling performance of Shami and he took to his official Twitter handle to praise the pacer. He wrote: “Started with a wkt off his first ball, finished with a very imp fifer- Shami has announced himself this WC! An inns to remember by Daryl Mitchell though! He & Rachin put Ind under pressure. Kuldeep didn’t have best days but still got 2 crucial wkts. Exciting chase ahead! #INDvNZ”
Started with a wkt off his first ball, finished with a very imp fifer- Shami has announced himself this WC! An inns to remember by Daryl Mitchell though! He & Rachin put Ind under pressure. Kuldeep didn’t have best days but still got 2 crucial wkts. Exciting chase ahead! #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/hEVd48R4hO
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) October 22, 2023
Shami’s performance was a major boost for India, who are looking to win their first World Cup title since 2011. The team will be hoping that he can continue his good form throughout the tournament.