File picture of Morne Morkel.© AFP
Indian pacers have been in top form in South Africa, bowling the team to victory in the opening Test at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. In the first Test, one Indian pacer in particular, stood out from the rest, tormenting the South African batters with bounce and movement in the air and off the pitch. Mohammed Shami took five wickets in the first innings and followed it up with another three in the second. In the ongoing second Test in Johannesburg, Shami was once again in the thick of things, giving India an early breakthrough by removing Aiden Markram on Day 1.
Former South Africa pacer Morne Morkel lavished praise on the India fast bowler, saying Shami is “making the ball talk” and making life very difficult for the Protease batters.
“He’s just a fine-tuned engine at the moment. He’s running in, landing the ball in the perfect areas consistently. He’s making the ball talk and making the life of South African batters very hard,” Morkel said on Star Sports before the start of play on Day 2.
The (Jasprit) Bumrah and Shami partnership just creates wickets. Even when they finish, the batters think ‘okay we can score now’ so India can pick up wickets even then. We spoke about him. Shami is someone who is really respected in the South African dressing room. They work on different gameplans against him but so far, he’s just been too good,” added the former Proteas fast bowler.
In the ongoing second Test, India, minus captain Virat Kohli, elected to bat. Apart from stand-in skipper KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, no other player could make a meaningful contribution as the visitors were bowled out for 202 in the first innings.
India hit back early in the South African innings with Shami causing all sorts of problems. The Indian pacer got the better of Aiden Markram to give India the breakthrough.
Proteas captain Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen, however, made sure there were no other setback for the hosts, taking their team to 35 for one at stumps on Day 1.
Topics mentioned in this article