Former India cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Gautam Gambhir lavished praise on India pacer Mohammed Shami after the latter put on a fine performance to help India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Saturday. Shami finished with outstanding figures of 4/31 in second innings as India beat Bangladesh inside three days to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Following India’s emphatic victory, Gavaskar and Gambhir hailed Shami’s contributions with the ball. While Gavaskar likened Shami to West Indies great Malcolm Marshall, Gambhir stated he is the leading red-ball bowler in the world currently.
“Shami has shown that if you keep that seam position up and if you get the ball to move around off the pitch, you will get wickets,” Gavaskar told official broadcasters at the end of match. “If he is given the new ball, who knows India might start to get early wickets.”
“Way back in 1983, despite having Andy Roberts and Michael Holding in the team, Clive Llyod gave the new ball to Malcolm Marshall and he picked 30 wickets because he had that ability.
“Mohammed Shami is like Malcolm Marshall is some sense. His delivery also comes at you like a missile. Same kind of late inward and outward movement. Very very difficult to negotiate,” the legendary opener added.
Gambhir also sided with Gavaskar’s views and said: “At the moment, colour doesn’t matter to him. Give him the yellow ball… give him the pink ball… he is going to be the leader of the attack. He probably is the best red-ball bowler in the world.”
Courtesy of his four-wicket haul in second essay, Shami became the most successful bowler in the 2nd innings in the last two years. The 29-year-old has taken 51 wickets in 20 innings at an average of 17 in the past two years. Shami has the best strike rate of 32.2 among all the bowlers who have taken 25 or more wickets since November 2017 in the second innings of a Test.
Australia’s Pat Cummins with 48 wickets and South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada with 34 wickets are at the second and third players in the list, respectively. India spinner Ravindra Jadeja with 32 wickets, and India pacer Jasprit Bumrah with 29 wickets fill up the top five spots.