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Mohammed Shami thinks India should’ve picked a front-line spinner

Shami registered his career-best figures in the 2nd Test against Australia.

Mohammed Shami India
Mohammed Shami. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Indian team made a questionable choice of selection for the second Test. In place of the injured Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma, they went with Umesh Yadav and Hanuma Vihari. While the odds were high about Vihari making it to the XI, Umesh was a surprise pick. The side had to compromise on a front-line spinner and speedster Mohammed Shami admits that it was a mistake on their part.

Yadav didn’t really have a fruitful outing whereas Australia’s Nathan Lyon had a great time bowling on the track at Perth. He picked up a five-wicket haul in the first innings and followed it up with the wickets on Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay in the second. There was enough rough created on both sides and with the ball bouncing the way it was Ravindra Jadeja would’ve been a handy pick.

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“We had Hanuma Vihari and he bowled well here,” Shami said while talking to the reporters after Day 4. “I personally think we should have had a frontline spinner but it is the team management which decides that.”

The focus should be on the line and length

Shami has bowled well in both the Tests thus far but was slightly on the unlucky side. But in Australia’s second innings of the game, he registered his career-best figures – 6/56. The pacer said that it was important to focus on the line and length and added that wickets will automatically follow. He even noted that he didn’t have a lot of experience when India last toured Australia in 2014 but said that this pace attack knows the areas to focus on this time around.

“It’s on your luck how many wickets you get,” he said. “If you are playing a Test then you should focus on your line and length. You will automatically get wickets. I wasn’t much experienced four years back. But this time the batch is experienced and there is a difference in the line and length from last time.”

Australia did manage a few resistive partnerships in both the innings of the game. The Indian bowlers constantly applied pressure but the wickets didn’t come. In such a situation Shami said patience is the key when a big partnership is flourishing.

“When a partnership is going strong, you have to wait for a wicket,” Mohammed Shami said. “We were hitting the lengths and once we got one wicket, the momentum shifted and we carried it forward. There has been uneven bounce. It was expected that it will have something from the third and fourth day, which has happened.”

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