Australia vs India 2nd Test Perth: Indian speedster Mohammed Shami said India missed a trick in not playing a full-time spinner on a pitch where Nathan Lyon has already bagged seven wickets. “The team management makes these decisions. We can’t do anything about it. We had one spinner who didn’t bowl badly. (But) If you ask me, I feel there should have been a spinner, but these things depend on your management,” said Shami. Also Read - India's Predicted XI For 4th Test Against England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad: Mohammed Siraj in For Jasprit Bumrah in Playing 11
Chasing 287, India were reduced to 112 for five at stumps on day four of the second Test at the Optus Stadium. Australia finished with 243 in their second innings, with Shami taking a career-best haul of 6-56 but the match went away from India for the lack of a balanced bowling attack. Also Read - Virat Kohli Has a Batting Session in Nets Ahead of Decider 4th Test in Ahmedabad | WATCH VIDEO
“After such a long time we have an Indian pace attack where all the bowlers are fast and are bowling good lines and lengths. Four years ago we weren’t even this experienced. You must have seen the difference in our accuracy from four years ago.” India leads the four-match series 1-0 after their 31-run win in the opening Test at Adelaide. Also Read - IND vs ENG 4th Test 2021: India Aim to Seal World Championship Final Spot, England Seek Red-Ball Respite at Motera
“It helps a lot to have a good bowler at the other end, who has the same mentality as you and is keeping things tight.
“This keeps the pressure up, and sometimes you don’t even realise when the game turns your way. The bowler at the other end is sometimes just as important,” he added, heaping praise on the fast-bowling unit.
Talking about his career-best spell, the pacer said, “I always try to bowl a good line and length. Rest is up to your luck, how many wickets you get or not. Your approach has to be good. If you are playing Test cricket, you have to focus on your line and length. You will get the wickets automatically.
“Sometimes when you have a long partnership, you have to wait, especially on a wicket like this where we were beating them again and again. It wasn’t as if we were bowling bad balls, but even on bowling good lengths, we were not getting wickets. As soon as we got a wicket the momentum changed and we used it.” India have Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant at the crease, and need 175 runs for victory. The visitors were reduced 55 for four at one stage, with Nathan Lyon dismissing Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay in the space of three overs.
Shami said winning or losing isn’t important as the team competed well on a tough Perth wicket, which is proving very challenging to batsmen of both sides. “It is part of the game. Winning and losing happen. We will just look forward”.
“You can see first two days the wicket was very good. But the third day it was going a little up and down, and there was uneven bounce as well. And the ball is keeping low at times as well. But it is like a normal Perth wicket and that’s how it has played so far. It is in everybody’s minds that on days 3 and 4 there will be some up and down and we are getting to see this so far,” he said.
Apart from India’s collapse, the other talking point of the day was the continuing exchange between skipper Tim Paine and Virat Kohli. Umpire Chris Gaffaney had to separate the two at one point.
“We cannot say much about it. It is part of the game, but nothing too serious. When you play Test cricket it is a long match and you have a long time so a little bit aggression is there and sometimes you react on the moment. We don’t need to mind these things too much. It is part of the game. If these things don’t happen in the match then I think the match won’t be interesting either. Maybe at that moment, things get heated up but it is not something to be made a big issue out of. According to me, we should leave this here”.
The saga continued even when Kohli was dismissed, with Paine sledging Vijay in Kohli’s name. Shami said these things shouldn’t be taken personally. “I have said earlier too that this is a part of the game and we don’t take it personally. If there is no sledging, you won’t enjoy the game and the public won’t enjoy the game”.
“If there is aggression, the match becomes more interesting. It is part of the game as it should be,” he said, of the Paine comment.
“What happens on the outside, what the opposition does, it doesn’t affect us. We have to focus on our game and we have to improve our game. Not what step of ours is being watched and what is not,” he signed off.
(With PTI inputs)