Virat Kohli has spoken about his admiration for Mohammed Shami's bowling abilities a couple of times already. The Indian captain sees Shami as the perfect bowler in Tests, one who can stick to plans and prise out wickets when needed. From the way the ball is release to where it is pitched and to what it does after, Shami's bowling displays, so it seems, have left Kohli in awe.
"He is a gun bowler, the areas he hits is what you need in Test cricket the attacking lengths and he has the ability to get batsmen out at any stage of the game which is very pleasing in test cricket and important for a captain. So, Shami being back in the side obviously gives us a lot of options. The guy can bowl with the new and old ball, reverse swing, he can come round the wicket, use bouncers and use his space well. I think as a fast bowler he is a complete package," Kohli had said of Shami.
On Saturday (July 23), the pacer gave his captain more reasons to be proud of his 'gun' bowler. Shami removed three West Indies batsmen in addition to the one he had already dismissed last evening.
Rajendra Chandrika and Kraigg Brathwaite were dogged during their opening stand, playing cautiously and trying to ensure they gave India no reasons for cheer late in the day. After Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav failed to make an impact, Kohli turned to Shami. And in three overs, the pacer had got Chandrika to edge behind.
The next morning, Shami was not as successful even though he did most things right. Nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo survived quite a few close calls, but was eventually dismissed by Amit Mishra.
When the next partnership between Kraigg and Darren Bravo was starting to flourish, Kohli turned to Shami again. And yet again, Shami delivered. Heimmediatelyswitched to around the wicket when Bravo came on strike. It was the third ball of his new spell, and Shami had Bravo walking back to the pavilion.
Soon after the Lunch break, Shami was into his element. He had Marlon Samuels out cheaply. It was his 50th Test wicket, and he became the joint-fastest Indian pacer (24 Innings) to get there. Shami celebrated that achievement with another superb delivery, getting Jermaine Blackwood out for a duck. It was his fourth wicket of the innings, and the hosts were in complete disarray.