India v West Indies, 1st Test, Kolkata, 3rd day November 8, 2013

Dhoni lauds 'fantastic' Shami

ESPNcricinfo staff

The lead-up to the first Test against West Indies at Eden Gardens had been almost entirely about the impending retirement of the most experienced man in world cricket, but it was India's newest Test players that proved to have the biggest impact. MS Dhoni has lavished praise on debutants, Mohammed Shami and Rohit Sharma, after they played starring roles in India's innings victory that stretched their Test winning streak to an unprecedented five matches.

Shami's performance, in particular, caused plenty of excitement as he consistently bowled around 140kph and got the ball to reverse prodigiously to end up with nine wickets in the match, the fourth-best figures for an Indian quick bowler at home.

"I think it was a disciplined bowling performance," MS Dhoni said after the match. "Shami was fantastic. Most of the fast bowlers got reverse swing, but his line and length was key. He got the right length and that's why I think he got nine wickets in this game."

Dhoni elaborated further on the conditions in what he thought Shami would thrive. "You need a bit of pace to dominate. You can get a bit of reverse swing, and he's got very good seam positioning which means he can reverse the ball away from the right-handed batsmen. So on wickets that have a bit more bounce, I think he will be even more effective with the ball going both ways. We're all very happy with the performance."

While Shami's entry to Tests was something of a surprise, Rohit's debut was considered long overdue. He made the wait count with a gutsy 177 after coming in with India's batting is disarray. "Well, you have to believe in destiny," Dhoni said. "I remember in Nagpur, there was a game he was supposed to play, but during the warm-up he injured his ankle and missed that Test. So I think it's good to see him bat the way he has batted. He is very talented, but now that it is reflecting on the field, he's really enjoying his cricket. Hopefully he'll go ahead and take more responsibility."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    Hopefully the Indian phsyios can keep him fit. I can't believe how many fast bowlers India have walked in and out of the Indian team over the years. Irfan Pathan.Ashish Nehra, Balaji, Munaf Patel, RP Singh, Aashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Sreeshanth and now the two Kumars and Shami. Only Zaheer Khan has been a regular member of both Test and ODI team. So, hopefully the bowling coach will realize the recent trends in Indian pace bowling department and take required measures to keep him fit.

  • Gaurav on November 10, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    so we Indian fans have again started doing the same, making a player superstar on the basis of one good performance (5 of his 9 wickets were that of tailenders) & that too against players of world's number 8 test team. Anderson, Steyn, Pattison, Ryan Harris & Ajmal does the same which Shami did in kolkatta in every alternate test match they play. Most of Shami dismissals were clean bowled & came against world number 8 test team batsmen. Do u people think batsmen like Smith, Amla, Kallis & ABD would allow the ball to pass between their leg & bat so easily. B4 start of tests, SA wud watch Shami videos & I assure u that it wud b very difficult for Shami even to create any trouble for them. Just wait & watch Shami's, he has to improve himself continuously if he want to last for 6-7 years. In last 10 years, India has seen lot of shamis coming in with a bang & going out as a fused bomb, RP, Ishant, Munaf, Sree, Irfan, Umesh, PK, Dinda, VK, Mithun, Balaji, Ashwin, Ojha & Nehra..

  • Dummy4 on November 10, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Top stuff from Shami-whether he will be a world beater or not remains to be seen.He seems to have all the tools to do well-good pace,swings both the new and old cherry,etc.However it's his temperament which is so impressive...very unflustered and calm..perfect.Of course all Indian fans will be hoping that its not another case of the "great Indian fast bowling hope" and hopefully Shami is handled well and not overbowled in the future.He's a gem and they should manage his career carefully,keep him away from ODI's (apart from the World Cup).Suddenly Shami,Ashwin,Kohli and Rohit point the way forward to a world class Indian team capable of building for the no.1 spot for tests.

  • john on November 10, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    @varun prabha thoniplackal , and who is James anderson? a guy with the average of 30 is not much to be reckoned with. Ofcourse he takes wickets in green tops. I would rate simon jones better than him.

    Moreover, don't hype about shami much after a single test against a deplorable WI batting line up. Let him play some more matches.

  • Dummy4 on November 10, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    He is the James Anderson of India...

  • Shabbir on November 10, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    @Vnott Not Kartik he was tried and tested a lot, Badri deserves a chance at international level. In younger lot Sanju Samson is bright prospect at young age. For Opening slot Ajinkay is there to fill in if needed

  • Sachin on November 10, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    Happy to see Rohit have a good debut. Worried about the consistency in the long run.

  • Prabhakar on November 10, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    A bowler attacks batsman with 11 (including himself) supporting him. Whereas, a batsman while scoring runs, encounters 11 opposition players or even 12 (including insensible partner getting him run out, at times). Of course, umpires' (genuine) mistakes can trouble or benefit either bowler or the batsman in the same way. Still, a bowler can have many more chances and ways of getting the batsman out in the same innings, but a batsman needs to get runs against all the odds (brilliant run saving fielding) in the same innings without committing a mistake as much as possible. Strictly speaking, a batsman's life at the wicket is for one more ball only. So, the immense necessity of caution, concentration (negotiating possible sledging) and not committing a mistake in an innings is much more for a batsman rather than for a bowler. Hence, with all due respect and recognition to bowlers and fieldsmen, by and large, batting is considered the toughest of the three aspects of cricket. (3 of 3)

  • Prabhakar on November 10, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    A careless/lazy shot by batsman resulting in soft dismissal, an exceptional/ sharp catch by a fielder, a sharp stumping by the keeper, or an erratic lbw/caught decision by an umpire are never truly bowler's wickets though they go to his account. All those incidents involve the effort/s of the other too sometimes, more than the effort of the bowler. A bowler can get a batsman out by a few variety of ways. However, a batsman can get runs only when the ball is intensionally or unintensionally hit with the bat, where in the latter case, the (top order) batsman is always criticized for his class/technique though. Indeed, a batsman may not get a second chance (barring an umpire's mistake or a drop by a fielder) unlike the bowler to show off in the same innings. (2 of 3)

  • Prabhakar on November 10, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    Keeping aside, who should have been MOM (Shami/Aswin/Rohit) in Kolkata test, even the history shows a batsman-based MOMs were more than a bowler in cricket. Honestly, which is the toughest aspect of a cricket: batting, bowling or fielding? Keeping aside pitch qualities and rules of the game, four to five bowlers share the burden of getting the other side out or run restricting bowling at times, with the help of fielders and sometimes with a bit of unexpected support from umpire's mistakes. Bowlers operate in spells of 6 balls at a time. A bowler may be erratic in one spell in an innings, but can have a chance to come back strong in the same innings to compensate, which is not the same for a batsman. While the main job of the bowler is to get wickets (in tests), after all, what is truly a bowler's wicket? (1 of 3)