Ashish Nehra (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ashish Nehra (Image Credit: Twitter)

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Ashish Nehra believes there isn’t much to separate Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in skills, impact, and fitness. Ashish Nehra said if he had to choose one of the two fast-bowlers, he would be ‘completely confused’ because Mohammed Shami has matched Jasprit Bumrah shoulder to shoulder in the last few years.

The former left-arm pacer’s observations came after India’s historic 113-run win over South Africa in Centurion. While Mohammed Shami picked eight wickets in the Test, including a brilliant fifer in the first innings, Jasprit Bumrah made five crucial breakthroughs overall.

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

Ashish Nehra: Pacer Mohammed Shami Has Matched Jasprit Bumrah Shoulder To Shoulder

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.

Ashish Nehra said: “If you ask me to pick just one fast-bowler for a team, I’ll be completely confused between Bumrah and Shami. It’s not like you can blindly say Bumrah. Yes, he has shown the X-factor and bowled good spells but Shami isn’t behind in any way. You talk about important wickets, breakthroughs, skills, and fitness – Shami has matched Bumrah shoulder to shoulder in all of that.”

Ashish Nehra. Image Credit-Sportstar.
Ashish Nehra. Image Credit-Sportstar.

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. Jasprit Bumrah also completed his 100 wickets in Test cricket since making his debut in Rainbow Nation South Africa in 2018. The right-arm pacer has now 106 wickets in Test cricket – 102 of which have come when playing overseas.

Ashish Nehra Praised Mohammed Siraj Whose Career Has Got Off To A Brilliant Start

After Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj emerged as India’s third-best seamer in the Test, bowling with determination throughout and chipping in with a spell of 3-92.

Ashish Nehra lauded the Hyderabadi pacer for his zeal, constant improvement, keenness to learn, and sense of responsibility and said: “Yes, he doesn’t let the pressure off at all. That’s why he’s being played ahead of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. And he never disappoints. Whenever he gets an opportunity, he puts all his might into it. He has fully used his skills too and he’s only going to get better from here.”

Ashish Nehra added: “His keenness to learn more and more is tangible. Whatever Virat Kohli wants from him – long spells, bouncers – his hand is always up for it, even in the field he puts in those slides… Mohammed Siraj’s international career has got off to a brilliant start.”

KL Rahul after his century in Centurion. Photo- AFP
KL Rahul after his century in Centurion. Photo- AFP

Also crucial to India’s win were contributions from Player of the Match KL Rahul (146), Mayank Agarwal (64), and Shardul Thakur (2-62) besides Ravichandran Ashwin (2-55). Ashish Nehra feels Cricket South Africa (CSA) dug a hole for themselves by offering a pace-friendly wicket in the first Test. He said it wasn’t a good strategy considering the quality of India’s bowling attack and the hosts’ struggling batting lineup.

Ashish Nehra said: “Even in South Africa’s home, India looks much better. There are more problems in the South African camp. And especially when you are going through so many issues, the way your batting has been, and still you are giving such a pitch then you are digging a hole for yourself.”

Ashish Nehra added: “It would have been understandable had you been 2-0 up like 2018 but right now, it was not a good strategy. And the way Indian team is playing, if you give them even a small chance, they’ll make it big themselves.”

India and South Africa will now go head-to-head on January 3 in Johannesburg for the second Test of the 3-match series. India beat South Africa by 113 runs in the first Test to take a 1-0 lead in three-match series. Set a stiff target of 305, South Africa were bowled out for 191 on the fifth and final day of the opening Test

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