Indian pacer Mohammed Shami didn’t take long to make an impact in the ICC World Cup 2023 as he struck on his first ball. India was taking on New Zealand in match 21 of the tournament at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala. India had opted to field first and they had done a staggering job with the ball. Mohammed Siraj struck first to remove Devon Conway and then it was Mohammed Shami, who removed Will Young to put hosts in the driving seat.
Shami was introduced into the attack in the 9th over and he made his presence felt on the first ball. The pacer bowled a length ball that had an extra bounce on it at off stump. Young tried to cut it but he didn’t get the proper connection. The ball got dragged back onto the stumps to send the batter packing.
Young scored 17 runs off 27 balls. With his wicket, India left New Zealand at 19/2. The Kiwi opener has been in terrific touch in the ICC World Cup 2023 and his wicket could very well prove to be vital for India in the game.
Shami would’ve had his second wicket as well, but he was unlucky as Ravindra Jadeja dropped a catch. Rachin Ravindra punched the ball towards the square. It was a regulation knee-high catch at backward point but it popped out of the hand.
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Shami was included in the Indian team for the fixture against New Zealand in Dharamsala after Hardik Pandya was ruled out with an injury. India was playing with only 5 bowling options in the game, so Shami knew that he had a big role to play.
He didn’t disappoint, bowling with pace and accuracy to pick up two early wickets. Shami’s performance was particularly impressive considering that he was playing his first game of the tournament. Shami has always been a big-match player and he showed it once again in India’s World Cup opener. His early wickets were crucial in setting the tone for the Indian bowlers and helped them to restrict New Zealand to a manageable total.
India eventually went on to win the match by 7 wickets, with Shami being named the Man of the Match. He finished with figures of 2/31, which was a remarkable achievement considering that he was bowling on a flat pitch. Shami’s performance in India’s World Cup opener was a sign of things to come. He is one of the most experienced bowlers in the Indian team and he will be looking to play a key role in their campaign to win the World Cup.