Mohammed Shami, the India fast bowler, has drawn praise from both captains, MS Dhoni and George Bailey, for his performance in his first game of the ODI series in Ranchi. Bowling consistently around the 140 kph mark, Shami ran through the Australia top order with a first spell of 6-1-21-3, accounting for Aaron Finch, Phillip Hughes and Shane Watson.
"Shami is deceptive," Dhoni said after the game was washed out with Australia having posted 295 for 8. "He bowls quicker than you would think. What was important was he bowled full and the wickets he got, he was hitting the bails. That shows he was bowling the right length on this pitch. And at the death he was getting the yorkers in pretty consistently."
Bailey, who revived Australia after Shami's burst in the company of Glenn Maxwell, also said the fast bowler did a fine job. "He bowled very well," Bailey said. "He's someone we haven't seen in the series and he was a little bit quicker than what we expected. He certainly got a bit of movement off the seam. That's something to be pretty aware of for the rest of the series. That's obviously what's going to be coming at us."
Shami himself did not think there was too much help from the pitch, although he did generate some bounce and movement off the seam and in the air under overcast skies. "Nothing special in the pitch," Shami said. "We were bowling first and there will be something for the fast bowlers when the wicket is fresh. There was not much bounce or carry. It was a little better before the rain but once it rained, the pitch slowed down a lot.
"The plan was not to give any room to the batsmen and make them play at the ball. The pitch in the beginning was assisting fast bowlers and we bowled accordingly."
Shami also said he had been spending more hours in the gym to increase his pace, but added that speed was also an outcome of the conditions. "How fast we bowl mostly depends on the conditions available," he said. "If there is some assistance, you get inspired to bowl quicker. As we saw today, if there is some swing, some movement, you put in the extra effort."