Zimbabwe v India, 4th ODI, Bulawayo

Mohit revels in 'dream' debut

Liam Brickhill at Queens Sports Club

August 1, 2013

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Malcolm Waller completes a run as Mohit Sharma looks on, Zimbabwe v India, 4th ODI, Bulawayo, August 1, 2013
Mohit Sharma impressed on India debut © Associated Press
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Mohit Sharma revelled in a "dream" debut after he helped skittle Zimbabwe for just 144 in the fourth ODI in Bulawayo. Entrusted with the new ball, as he had been through most of the IPL by MS Dhoni, Mohit made the first incision for India with the wicket of Sikandar Raza and then returned to remove Malcolm Waller in the batting Powerplay to snap a stubborn middle-order stand.

"Yeah, it all feels like a dream," Mohit said. "But I have worked on my bowling and it is showing. I am ready to do well in whatever opportunity I am going to get. I was just focusing on keeping things simple and sticking to basics. I did not want to try too many things and it worked for me today."

It was that same formula that first brought Mohit success in the Ranji Trophy with Haryana and it also worked a treat at this year's IPL, where he emerged as one of the most miserly and effective new-ball bowlers of the tournament. It was also noticeable that, during every Indian nets session on this tour, Mohit consistently impressed with his ability to hit a length on or around off stump with almost every delivery.

A correct call at the toss by Virat Kohli supplied Mohit with almost ideal conditions this morning and, apart from a single wide probably brought about by nervous excitement, his first over in international cricket was exemplary. He beat Vusi Sibanda's bat four times in that first over, and it wasn't until his third that a run was scored off the bat.

It was his stock outswinger that brought his maiden wicket, with Raza feathering one behind, and Mohit's opening six-over spell yielded just 13 runs. After a brief turn in the middle overs, Kohli brought him back for the Powerplay, with a well-set Waller and Elton Chigumbura having taken 11 runs from the first over under the fielding restrictions. Sharma responded to his captain's call with Waller's dismissal, also via the outside edge. A battling 80-run stand was broken, and Zimbabwe quickly subsided.

"It is difficult to bowl in Powerplays but we work hard in practice sessions," Mohit explained. "We create match situations during training and bowl a lot and that has helped in matches. And that is why we don't feel much pressure in matches. Playing under Mahi bhai [Dhoni] and in pressure conditions has taught me a lot. I am just carrying that experience into the international level."

Everyone already knew that Mohit could do a job with the new ball, and such was the ineptitude of Zimbabwe's batting that his ability to vary his bowling with slower balls - which, again was on prime display in the IPL - and yorkers has not yet been tested. He's in no rush to add new strings to his bow, however, and given his successes so far that's understandable.

"After coming into the Indian team I have learnt a lot from bowling coach Joe Dawes. It's just about sticking to the basics and working on your strengths and improving on that. As far as learning new things in bowling, I can do that later and not in match situations. Now I want to focus on the next game and doing well in that as well."

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town

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Posted by   on (August 3, 2013, 1:17 GMT)

Bhuvanesh, Shami, Mohit, Praveen Kumar and Unadkat. Add Zaheer and Aaron if they are fit and we have a good fast bowling unit. Umesh and Ishant dont have it in them to be fast bowlers. Pace is a part, not all of fast bowling. When it comes to Ishant, he does not have that pace either. I sincerely hope the new crop of fast bowlers have done enough to "rest" these two first choice duo of fast bowlers for good.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (August 2, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

This is what I was taking about !! There's no shortage of talent in India. We just need to give them a chance! We have already won this series - throw caution to the wind and give Rasool and Rahane a chance.

Posted by Arjun_M on (August 2, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

Too much is being said of Mohit Sharma, who has played more T20 than LA, and even fewer FCs. He is just one season old. While he has done well in the IPL, unlike other domestic stalwarts who have been caned out in one or two games, he does not make the strongest Indian XI yet. The Unadkat disaster in South Africa comes to mind. Shami Ahmed has played more ODIs than he has taken wickets. All of them, and also domestic-performers-turned-IPL-victims Ishwar Pandey and Sid Kaul need to play for three more years in domestic/reserves before being serious India contenders. Everything looks good for Mohit after his first Ranji/Hazare/IPL season. But what about the next? And the one after?

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (August 2, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

Agree with @ Watan Deep - Im still sad to see not all players getting chances. We are playing Zimbabwe here. Jadeja should have been left out to give Rasool couple of games to prove himself. And batting order should have been re-adjusted to give new guys a bat. Whats the point of promoting Raina who is a permanent member of the team? They should have let Rayudu bat instead. Give these guys a platform to show what they are capable of. Batting them at 4/5 chasing less than 200 isn't the way to go. If you can't promote them against Zimbabwe, you won't do it ever.

Posted by   on (August 2, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

Im still sad to see not all players getting chances. We are playing Zimbabwe here. Jadeja should have been left out to give Rasool couple of games to prove himself. And batting order should have been re-adjusted to give new guys a bat. Whats the point of promoting Raina who is a permanent member of the team? They should have let Rayudu bat instead. Give these guys a platform to show what they are capable of. Batting them at 4/5 chasing less than 200 isn't the way to go. If you can't promote them against Zimbabwe, you won't do it ever.

It's good that Mohit finally got a game, but there are guys who are still out in the dry for no reason.

Posted by mahi678 on (August 2, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

i think bhuvi,mohit, unadkat,shami could bowl well in tests too.hope rassol would play like jadeja, india need od all roundedrs.. that too bowling alrounders who succeed with ball, fielding and bat a bit when needed.

Posted by NIRMAL2493 on (August 2, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

Mohit sharma is a good Wicket taking Bowler.I am from chennai.i had seen his style in IPL.Good to have him in the indian team.Good Luck Mohit.

Posted by Naresh28 on (August 2, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

Yip Mohit is a good bowler. I like the way he holds his hand close to his neck when about to deliver - it disguises (just like Anderson). This augur well for our team. Going to be nice to see him operate on SA tour. Hard luck to Pujara this time around Also looking forward to seeing Pujara (the captain) play on SA tour. Next game India just give some players a break and use bench players.

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (August 2, 2013, 6:45 GMT)

as a champion team, we should have given odi cap to rasool. Disappointed.

Posted by SamRoy on (August 2, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

Of course you are right Nampally. Mohit Sharma is the best ODI and T20 option of the seamers who went to Zimbabwe much ahead of Unadkat and Shami. In fact he can be a decent third seamer for test matches in SA and Australia though I still will go with Shami as the third seamer with Bhuvneshwar and Umesh opening the bowling. Ishant has been a constant failure in Australia, SA and England. Just 2 good spells amidst hundreds of rubbish spells don't make you a good bowler. I have particular personal grudge against Ishant as he ruined my perfect birthday gift of a test series win in SA i

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