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Ex-South Africa player in awe of Mohammed Shami, compares him with Shaun Pollock and James Anderson

By BetBarter Staff

December 29, 2021

India fast bowler Mohammed Shami picked up his 200th wicket in the first Test against South Africa in Centurion. Shami joined Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, and Ishant Sharma in the list of fast bowlers who have picked 200 or more Test wickets for India. Shami achieved this milestone by bagging the wicket of Kagiso Rabada. He also ended up taking a five-wicket in the innings, which was also his sixth in the career. The right-arm pacer’s efforts helped India bundle out South Africa for 197.

Shami stepped up brilliantly in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, who was out for a while after twisting his ankle. Shami was relentless with his line and lengths and did not allow the hosts' batters to settle. The 31-year-old hardly bowled a loose delivery in the game.

Former South African cricketer Daryll Cullinan lavished praise on Shami and compared him to legendary fast bowlers Shaun Pollock and James Anderson.

Cullinan felt the Indian pacer’s seam position and control were impeccable throughout the innings. “His seam position is perfectly up there. Just watching him bowl today reminded me of the likes of (Shaun) Pollock, (James) Anderson. They don’t seem to waste a ball. If you’re on strike, there’s constantly that subtle variation and good seam positions. It is not as if you anticipate the line and length,” Cullinan told Cricinfo.

“It’s that control which may vary, sort of a foot wide in the crease. It may be a foot fuller or shorter. He finds that in-between lengths where you never know whether you should be forward or back. He’s constantly asking you questions. You can see there’s a thought process behind everything that he is doing,” he added.

Meanwhile, Shami’s terrific display has allowed India to get a humungous lead of 130 runs. At the close of play on Day 3, the visitors are 16 for the loss of one wicket, leading by 146 runs.