‘A minimum target of 350-400 will be required’ – Mohammed Shami on the road ahead for India to beat South Africa in Centurion Test

The visitors are already in the driver's seat, having already taken a 146-run lead in the second innings.

Mohammed Shami
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Mohammed Shami. (Photo by CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP via Getty Images)

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The Indian bowlers dominated the third day of the opening Test after an unexpected batting collapse. India could make only 327 runs in the first innings after losing six wickets for 55 runs on day three. KL Rahul remained the highest scorer with 123 runs.

The Indian bowlers were also too quick to dismiss the South African batting unit for a score of 197 runs. Mohammed Shami picked a fifer and also became the fastest to reach 200 wickets in Test cricket. Shardul Thakur and Jasprit Bumrah picked two wickets each, while Mohammed Siraj picked one wicket.

In the press conference after day three, Shami reflected on the way Indian bowlers bowled. He also gave an insight into the total he thinks would be enough for India to win the match in the remaining two days. He mentioned that a lead of 350-400 runs and at least three to four sessions would be enough for the Indian bowlers to wrap up the Proteas batting.

“A lead of 146 is fine but two days are still left. We have to bat for the better part of tomorrow and if we can make around 250 (in the second innings) and the lead is close to 400, then we can give them four sessions or maybe a bit more. But that depends on the captain, but a minimum of 350 to 400 runs will be required for sure,” Shami said.

The credit of the Indian bowling unit’s success should rest with the individual only – Mohammed Shami

Over the years, the Indian bowling unit has achieved a lot of success in overseas conditions. During the last South Africa tour, Indian bowlers took all 20 wickets in every match. The coaching staff has often been praised by the Indian bowlers for their support and guidance. However, Shami had a different opinion on this as he mentioned that the credit should always go to “only and only” the bowlers.

“Indian pace bowling is a formidable one because each and every member has worked hard and achieved it all with their sheer hard work. They have created their own little units (niche) for themselves and yes, they are the ones who have put in the immense amount of hard work in the last 6-7 years. They are here on their own,” Shami gave a detailed and loaded answer without naming anyone.

“Yes, credit goes to the support staff. They support your skill but it’s not fair that you take any particular name. What you should see is what kind of effort that these boys have put in and I give credit to boys who have put in the effort,” Shami said.