Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (AP Photos)
Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (AP Photos)

Aakash Chopra, the ex-Indian opener has lauded speedster Mohammed Shami, calling him “India’s No. 1 Test pacer” at this point in time. Mohammed Shami was perhaps India’s most consistent bowler on show during his side’s historic triumph against South Africa in Centurion. With his fiery, long spells, the Bengal-born pacer managed to pick up his sixth five-wicket haul in South Africa’s 1st innings.

He was instrumental in bowling the hosts out for 197 in the first innings. During the process, he reached a personal milestone of 200 Test wickets becoming only the fifth Indian pacer to achieve the milestone and third fastest after legendary former pacers Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath. He then followed it up with a three-for in the second innings, helping India take a 1-0 lead in the Freedom Trophy series.

Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami. Image Credits: Twitter

Aakash Chopra Terms Sensational Mohammed Shami As India’s No. 1 Test Pacer

Former Indian batsman turned commentator Aakash Chopra reviewed the 1st Centurion Test on his YouTube channel and heaped praise on Indian pacers. Aakash Chopra believes Mohammed Shami asks difficult questions from the opposition batsmen with every delivery he bowls.

While naming him as India’s best red-ball bowler, Aakash Chopra said: “You look at Bumrah because he’s special. But if we equalize every condition, India’s number one Test pacer is Mohammad Shami, especially at this point in time. He asks questions with the delivery of his. He took five wickets against this team in Vishakhapatnam as well and now he took a fifer at Centurion.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The 44-year-old Aakash Chopra also revealed what makes Mohammed Shami so unique and special. He acknowledged Mohammed Shami’s ability to bowl consistently in dangerous areas.

Aakash Chopra lauded the quick bowler and mentioned: “We saw sideways movement from Ngidi, Rabada’s pace and saw Bumrah’s magic. But what about Shami? Shami doesn’t bowl a magic delivery like Bumrah does. But he bowls on dangerous areas consistently and releases the ball with so close to the stumps. Who bowled the most deliveries on fourth stump? Who bowled the maximum deliveries that were hitting on top of off? – It was sensational Shami.”

Aakash Chopra had earlier lavished praise on Indian pacer Mohammed Shami for his five-wicket haul and also compared him to veteran pacers South Africa’s Dale Steyn and England’s James Anderson.

Aakash Chopra: Jasprit Bumrah Is A National Asset And A Treasure

Labelling him as India’s ‘national asset’, Aakash Chopra was all in praise of Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah. With two peaches of deliveries at the fag end of Day 4, Jasprit Bumrah took a total of five wickets in the Test match. His relentless approach and intensity in bowling proved a bit too much for the Proteas batters.

While praising the Gujarat-born pacer, Aakash Chopra mentioned that Jasprit Bumrah takes crucial dismissals at impossible phases of time. The 28-year-old speedster is a treasure, according to Aakash Chopra.

The former cricketer-turned-expert said: “Jasprit Bumrah is a national asset. He’s a treasure. We are so fortunate that our fast bowling unit has matured together. Bumrah took important wickets at important phases of the game. He set the tone by dismissing Dean Elgar in the very first over (first innings). Then, on Day 4 when there was a partnership building up for South Africa, he bowled a magical ball to van der Dussen. Then Keshav Maharaj came to the crease, and mind you, he bats well.”

Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

He added: “Bumrah wonderfully bowled a yorker to dismiss him. He then took Elgar out again but with a different kind of a delivery. I mean he (Bumrah) is brilliant, man.”

Mohammed Shami picked the first wicket after Lunch and Ravichandran Ashwin scalped the final two wickets in consecutive deliveries to help India win their first Test in Centurion. Temba Bavuma remained unbeaten on 35. The Proteas started the day on a strong note, scoring runs at a brisk pace before Jasprit Bumrah removed captain Dean Elgar on 77. Mohammed Siraj then joined the act and cleaned up Quinton de Kock on 21.

With their first-ever Test win at Centurion, India will be eyeing their first Test series win in South Africa. The next match will be played in Johannesburg, where India won on their last tour in 2018.

India 327 (Rahul 123, Agarwal 60, Ngidi 6-71) and 174 (Pant 34, Rabada 4-42, Jansen 4-55) beat South Africa 197 (Bavuma 52, Shami 5-44) and 191 (Elgar 77, Bumrah 3-50, Shami 3-63) by 113 runs