Zimbabwe v India, 4th ODI, Bulawayo August 1, 2013

Mohit revels in 'dream' debut

27

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on August 2, 2013, 6:45 GMT

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on August 2, 2013, 6:45 GMT

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

  • 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

  • sony_sr on August 2, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    In near future we will see mohit and bhuneshwar kumar opening for india in tests. The consistency with which he hits that sweet spot was amazing. If he can do that consistently with subtle away movement, he can trouble any international batsman.

  • on August 2, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    If Mohit Sharma has played in IPL for any other franchise it would have taken sometime to get into the national team.

  • on August 2, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    we now have good bowlers on swing. hope mohit can improve his batting as well . number 10 and 11 batting for India has been pathetic with ishanth and umesh yadav. where is varun aaron who was supposed to be our fastest some time back.

  • on August 2, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    congrats to mohit on a very good debut.... similarity between mohit and bhuvi i saw is, they both had a very good first ball in their debut, both delivered inswingers, bhuvi got wicket and mohit just missed it...... but anyway i think he will go long way.... but he needs to be tested yet.... selelct him for the upcoming AUS odi series in home , he will prove worthy with bhuvi and mohit bowling in tandem... i dint get the speeds at which he was bowling, but i reckon it would be around 135kmph.... and thats good , instead of having 145kmph with no control on bowling, its way better to have 135kmph with a very good bowling action and a very good control over his lengths.... is he maintains his consistency, he will prove lethel, especially in TEST matches.....

    and i am very glad to seed UNADKAT bowling very good spell in the middle of the innings... that gives team indian selectors to look beyond ISHANT SHARMA... but these guys are young and need the experience....

  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 2, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    Nice to see all rookies perform well other than Pujara. But he was excellent in tests. Now , it is the time to include Rasool in the place of Jadeja. But he need to work had to fit in that slot. Jadaje is exceptional in batting bowling and fielding.

  • on August 2, 2013, 3:57 GMT

    The main hallmark of any good bowler is the consistency in line. This guy has that. He did in IPL and now in his debut match he impressed one and all. Hope he does not get injured and vanish from the scene.

  • Cricket24 on August 2, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    I couldn't see the match because of odd timings but does he remind anyone of Bhuneshwar Kumar? Good swing and control

  • on August 2, 2013, 1:45 GMT

    What a wonderful debut. God bless him for his future

  • SRAM20 on August 2, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    Mohit's success augurs so well for India. India were in need a good pool of fast bowlers for the shorter formats where run scoring has become very easy. Now with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Shami Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma, we have a good pool of bowlers. This will also help us preserve Yadav and Ishant for the tests.

  • Naresh28 on August 1, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    @nampally - Like your assessment on the bowlers.

  • Sunil_Canada on August 1, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    Thanks Virat for giving opportunity to 2 debutants. In the next match, please bring Rahane in place Rohit or Raina. Let Pujara and Rahane open to ensure they get to bat. Please bring Rasool in place of Amit, Shami or Jadeja. I believe Rasool can bat so if India is in good position, if possible bring him up the order so he can bat too.

  • on August 1, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Although it is too soon to predict anything what Mohit has shown today, a great future lies ahead of him .He can swing the ball both ways and with reasonable pace and good control at an uncomfortable length for the batsman. He certainly should be picked up for India's forthcoming South Africa tour where fast bowlers like him are likely to have an impact.

  • on August 1, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    I am from Ballabgarh, Haryana..the same city in which Mohit Sharma resides..Heartly congratulations to him..Way to go...

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on August 1, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    There you go, This guy I am sure will be a big success in the International scene. An Unfussed action. a Good outswinger. Accurate - Reminds me of Philander. Can crank up the pace if needed.

    What more does he need apart from experience.

  • on August 1, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    Mohit is really an amazing bowler... In the last Ranji season though he ended up the 5th highest wicket taker his average and strike rate are far better than any. Also he is having best economy rate. Also he is the best accurate fast bowler in that season. I think this is the reason Dhoni got impressed and gave the new ball to this uncapped player in IPL for chennai super kings. He is consistent in his line and length and I can say he is far more better than Ishanth Sharma and Umesh Yadav. He is pitching the ball in right areas and either forcing the batsmen to play or bowling deliveries which are unplayable with his out swingers. Few of the wicket taking deliveries are much similar to Mcgrath's deliveries. If he is really continues to show his accuracy in long run he will become Indian Mcgrath.

  • on August 1, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    I have watched him bowl since IPL days. A great asset for future of Indian cricket.

  • Nampally on August 1, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Better late than Never! Mohit Sharma finally got a chance to play in the XI. He is an ideal bowler for ODI & T20 format with accurate attacking bowling on the stumps. I was upset when he was dropped to include Vinay Kumar. Mohit & Vinay are at the 2 opposite ends of economy- Mohit being the most miserly!. If the XI selection is on merit, Mohit should be first choice seamer in this squad - even above Unadkat. I was particularly pleased that he did not let his Fans down & bowled to his potential. When someone gets a chance after being benched often, the pressure & excitement act to negate their performance. I hope the right Sharma is included in the future Indian ODI XI too- Mohit NOT Ishant. B.Kumar & Mohit Sharma are both accurate opening bowlers who attack the stumps with controlled length & accuracy. As long as they stick to this approach they can't go wrong. Short pitched stuff used by Yadev & Ishant simply does not work, as evident from their economy rates.Well done Mohit!

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  • Nampally on August 1, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Better late than Never! Mohit Sharma finally got a chance to play in the XI. He is an ideal bowler for ODI & T20 format with accurate attacking bowling on the stumps. I was upset when he was dropped to include Vinay Kumar. Mohit & Vinay are at the 2 opposite ends of economy- Mohit being the most miserly!. If the XI selection is on merit, Mohit should be first choice seamer in this squad - even above Unadkat. I was particularly pleased that he did not let his Fans down & bowled to his potential. When someone gets a chance after being benched often, the pressure & excitement act to negate their performance. I hope the right Sharma is included in the future Indian ODI XI too- Mohit NOT Ishant. B.Kumar & Mohit Sharma are both accurate opening bowlers who attack the stumps with controlled length & accuracy. As long as they stick to this approach they can't go wrong. Short pitched stuff used by Yadev & Ishant simply does not work, as evident from their economy rates.Well done Mohit!

  • on August 1, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    I have watched him bowl since IPL days. A great asset for future of Indian cricket.

  • on August 1, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    Mohit is really an amazing bowler... In the last Ranji season though he ended up the 5th highest wicket taker his average and strike rate are far better than any. Also he is having best economy rate. Also he is the best accurate fast bowler in that season. I think this is the reason Dhoni got impressed and gave the new ball to this uncapped player in IPL for chennai super kings. He is consistent in his line and length and I can say he is far more better than Ishanth Sharma and Umesh Yadav. He is pitching the ball in right areas and either forcing the batsmen to play or bowling deliveries which are unplayable with his out swingers. Few of the wicket taking deliveries are much similar to Mcgrath's deliveries. If he is really continues to show his accuracy in long run he will become Indian Mcgrath.

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on August 1, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    There you go, This guy I am sure will be a big success in the International scene. An Unfussed action. a Good outswinger. Accurate - Reminds me of Philander. Can crank up the pace if needed.

    What more does he need apart from experience.

  • on August 1, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    I am from Ballabgarh, Haryana..the same city in which Mohit Sharma resides..Heartly congratulations to him..Way to go...

  • on August 1, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Although it is too soon to predict anything what Mohit has shown today, a great future lies ahead of him .He can swing the ball both ways and with reasonable pace and good control at an uncomfortable length for the batsman. He certainly should be picked up for India's forthcoming South Africa tour where fast bowlers like him are likely to have an impact.

  • Sunil_Canada on August 1, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    Thanks Virat for giving opportunity to 2 debutants. In the next match, please bring Rahane in place Rohit or Raina. Let Pujara and Rahane open to ensure they get to bat. Please bring Rasool in place of Amit, Shami or Jadeja. I believe Rasool can bat so if India is in good position, if possible bring him up the order so he can bat too.

  • Naresh28 on August 1, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    @nampally - Like your assessment on the bowlers.

  • SRAM20 on August 2, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    Mohit's success augurs so well for India. India were in need a good pool of fast bowlers for the shorter formats where run scoring has become very easy. Now with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Shami Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma, we have a good pool of bowlers. This will also help us preserve Yadav and Ishant for the tests.

  • on August 2, 2013, 1:45 GMT

    What a wonderful debut. God bless him for his future