Mohammed Shami has bemoaned his luck after squarely beating batsmen several times in the final Test at The Oval, but ending up with just two wickets to show for it.
Shami ended with 0-72 and 2-110, even as England were determined to make Alastair Cook’s final Test a fitting swansong. The hosts declared their second innings at 423-8, setting India an improbable target of 464 to win.
India were then reduced to 2-3, with Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli falling in quick succession, before KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane took them to 58-3 by stumps.
The moment Alastair Cook reached his 33rd Test century in his last innings! ?
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 10, 2018
Shami wasn’t helped by the fact that he had to shoulder a lot of the fast-bowling responsibilities after Ishant Sharma left the field due to ‘discomfort’. However, having to bowl more didn’t worry Shami as much as the lack of luck.
“It depends on luck sometimes,” said Shami on Monday, September 10. “As a bowler, your main target is to hit good areas consistently, especially with the new ball. Whether that yields wickets depends on luck, but it is certainly a bit frustrating … the ball beat the bat several times, but it’s fine, I’ve to accept the wickets I got.
“It is difficult when you’re one bowler short, and in these conditions you’ll have to bowl since it is fast-bowler friendly. Yes, the load increases but it’s nothing so serious. It happens, bowlers feel discomfort, and as a means of preventing injury, you leave the field. We have a great understanding in the bowling group in that regard.”
Despite wickets not coming easily, Shami was delighted with the way he bowled throughout the series. He said there was a marked difference since 2014, the last time India toured these shores.
“I’ve learnt a lot. When we had come here in 2014, we didn’t even have that much experience and we weren’t mature (as bowlers),” he said. “This time, we watched a lot of videos of Jimmy Anderson and (Stuart) Broad to see where they pitched the ball, especially in English conditions. As compared to last time, we did better this time.”