Zaheer Khan

India's Jasprit Bumrah in action during the 2019 ICC World Cup | AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar
India's Jasprit Bumrah in action during the 2019 ICC World Cup | AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar
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Added Responsibility Is Always Going To Help Jasprit Bumrah: Zaheer Khan

Jasprit Bumrah is acting as a deputy to the skipper, for the second successive month. While the ongoing home assignment against Sri Lanka remains Rohit Sharma’s second T20I series as full-time captain, premier paceman Jasprit Bumrah will look to leave his mark after in the series, which is a part of the team’s lead-up to this year’s T20 World Cup.

Jasprit Bumrah also has the added responsibility of vice-captaincy as well. With plenty of experience under his belt, Jasprit Bumrah is currently looked upon as one of the leaders in the group. He previously had served as India’s vice-captain for the ODI series against South Africa when KL Rahul was the captain.

Jasprit Bumrah| AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi
Jasprit Bumrah| AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

Jasprit Bumrah Will Be Helped By Added Responsibility According To Zaheer Khan

Former India pacer Zaheer Khan also believes in Jasprit Bumrah’s elevation as vice-captain will augur well for him. Zaheer Khan, who is fifth on the list of most international wickets for India, backed Jasprit Bumrah to thrive and become more influential after the promotion.

“I’ve got a smile when that kind of responsibility is put on a bowler. Added responsibility is always going to help him. It’s definitely going to bump him up. It’s going to help him start thinking about the game at a higher level. Sometimes when you’re thinking about just your bowling… and you kind of restrict yourself. I feel the vice-captaincy has come at a good time in his career. One can definitely see his growth as a cricketer after being given the role,” Zaheer Khan said.

Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar
Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar

Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the white-ball series against West Indies, made a comeback on Thursday against Sri Lanka in the first T20I. He didn’t manage to pick up a wicket but conceded just 19 runs in his three overs. Jasprit Bumrah’s figures in the 2nd T20I were 1/24.

“Generally you start thinking about the game at a deeper level. You start thinking about things that you were not thinking about earlier. I’m sure he will be in conversation with the team think tank about the decisions being made in a certain way. You understand and challenge yourself in that fashion. This captaincy responsibility is definitely going to help Bumrah going forward in his career,” Zaheer further added.

Zaheer Khan said Jasprit Bumrah can deliver fast yorkers and awkward length deliveries with a variation of pace.

Jasprit Bumrah Has A reat Mind Of The Game : Rohit Sharma

Earlier, captain Rohit Sharma had also said that vice-captaincy duties will help Jasprit Bumrah gain more confidence and the Indian pace spearhead has got the cricket brain to step into the leadership role.

Rohit Sharma Photo Credit: (BCCI)
Rohit Sharma Photo Credit: (BCCI)

“But this is only going to add and get him more confident in whatever he wants to do on the field. It is nice to have him as vice-captain of the team for this particular series. Let’s hope everything works out pretty well. I know him closely and talk to him a lot about cricket. I do understand what sort of cricketing brain he has; it is nice to have him in that role.”

Shreyas Iyer’s unbeaten 74 off 44 balls trumped Pathum Nissanka’s 75 off 53, while Ravindra Jadeja’s 45 not out off 18 outshone Dasun Shanaka’s 47 not out off 19 as India chased down Sri Lanka’s 183 for 5 with seven wickets and 17 balls to spare in the second T20I in Dharamsala. The win, India’s 11th on the trot in T20Is, gave the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel
Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel
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Zaheer Khan Reckons Pacers Jasprit Bumrah And Harshal Patel Will Complement Each Other Leading Up To 2022 T20I World Cup

Zaheer Khan feels the presence of Jasprit Bumrah will augur well for Harshal Patel. The current team management will be looking to find the perfect team combination in the lead-up to this year’s 2022 T20I World Cup in Australia.

Zaheer Khan explained how the Jasprit Bumrah-Harshal Patel pair would complement each other. While Jasprit Bumrah conceded 19 runs from 3 overs and went wicketless, Harshal Patel ended up registering bowling figures of 0/10 from two overs at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow.

Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar
Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar

Zaheer Khan Reckons Pacers Jasprit Bumrah And Harshal Patel Will Be A Complementing Pair

Royal Challengers Bangalore got Harshal Patel back by a price of INR 10.75 Crores at the IPL 2022 mega auction. Notable he was the Purple Cap winner in the last season when he claimed 32 wickets in 15 matches with an economy of 8.14. It was the record for any Indian bowler in a single IPL season.

He made his T20I debut against New Zealand last year. Harshal Patel made his IPL debut in 2012 and so far picked 78 wickets in 63 matches with an economy of 8.58. Having made his T20I debut last year, the intelligent pacer has claimed 9 wickets in 6 matches at an average of 18.44 and an economy rate of 7.9.

“Bumrah and Harshal will be a complementing pair… purely because when you talk about Bumrah, you talk about that awkward angle and fast yorkers. To add to that, he’s got that beautiful variation of bowling slower ones,” Zaheer Khan said.

“When you look at Harshal, his success story has been around people looking to attack. When batters are coming hard at him, he feels more comfortable and chances of him taking a wicket are on the higher side,” Zaheer Khan said.

Harshal Patel BCCI
Harshal Patel BCCI

Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the white-ball series against West Indies, and Ravindra Jadeja, who was recovering from an injury in the last two months, returned to the mix after the hiatus. Along with Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the Indian pace unit also hosted Harshal Patel, whose career has witnessed a meteoric rise after a stellar IPL 2021.

“It will work in his favour when he has someone like Bumrah bowling from the other end. Batters would want to take more chances against Harshal than against Bumrah… and it would work in Harshal’s favour. Bumrah is gonna make it very difficult for batters to score runs freely and that’s gonna give an edge to Harshal to use his variations. I think this pair at the death overs will complement each other,” Zaheer Khan added.

The ace fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been appointed vice-captain for the Sri Lanka T20I series and the subsequent two Test matches. Like Ravindra Jadeja, this would be the first time he will play in a T20I match since the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Ishan Kishan And Shreyas Iyer’s Fifties Helped India Reach 199/2 Before Winning By 62 Runs

Half-centuries by Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer set up India’s demolition of Sri Lanka by 62 runs in the T20I series opener on Thursday. India on Thursday recorded their longest winning streak in T20Is, which has now gone up to 10 matches, when the hosts put up a clinical performance to defeat Sri Lanka by 62 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-game T20I series.

Venkatesh Iyer also starred with the ball and picked two wickets, helping India restrict the opposition to just 137 for six in 20 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had the best bowling figures of 2/9 in 2 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar provided India with the perfect start by removing Pathum Nissanka (0) on the first ball of the innings.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ishan Kishan blasted 89 off just 56 deliveries before Shreyas Iyer chipped in with a quick-fire 57, helping India reach an intimidating 199 for two at the end of 20 overs. India and Sri Lanka will now move to Dharamsala for the second and third matches of the T20I series.

 

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)
Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)
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Ajay Jadeja Feels Ajinkya Rahane And Cheteshwar Pujara’s Test Careers Are Over After Being Axed For Sri Lanka Tests

Ajay Jadeja thinks Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara’s Test careers are virtually over following their axing for the series against Sri Lanka at home. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were given a long rope in India’s Test side despite the two veterans going through a prolonged lean run in the last 2 years.

However, their underwhelming performances in the Test series against South Africa proved to be the final nail in the coffin. Both veteran players, who have been struggling for form in the last few seasons, were not picked in the squad for the two-match Test series against the Lankans. While announcing the decision, Chief Selector Chetan Sharma said that they can still make a comeback by playing well in domestic cricket.

Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara. Image Credits: Twitter
Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara. Image Credits: Twitter

Ajay Jadeja Doesn’t See Cheteshwar Pujara And Ajinkya Rahane Return

According to Ajay Jadeja, though, that seems next to impossible. Although Cheteshwar Pujara scored a fluent 83-ball 91 against Mumbai after being dropped from the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. Ajinkya Rahane scored 129 and Sarfaraz Khan scored 275 as Mumbai scored 544/7 in the 1st innings. In reply, Cheteshwar Pujara failed to score in the 1st innings where Saurashtra scored only 220. Following on, Saurashtra managed 372/9.

Discussing the future of the two experienced batters, the former captain Ajay Jadeja said: “Both are single-format players, and when you leave them out of that one format, I don’t see them coming back. I hope I am wrong because these are stalwarts. They have played 80-90 Test matches. There is enough talent that is around. The next generation that has come has pushed them.”

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

If Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane do not play another Test, it will be the latest instance of senior players in Indian cricket not being able to leave on their own terms.

Debating the trend, wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik reflected: “It is a hard one. I don’t think in Indian cricket, over a period of time, many people have had the opportunity to say goodbye the way they wanted.

“It has always been a sad story.” That’s how it is going to be. There’s Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara for the moment. It will be somebody else later, and that’s how it’s always going to roll.”

In recent years, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan have been among the big names in Indian cricket who were dropped from the national squad before they announced their retirement.

Ajay Jadeja: Dropping Cheteshwar Pujara And Ajinkya Rahane After Losing One Series Is Unfair

While Ajay Jadeja doesn’t see a comeback in sight for the veteran Indian duo, he described the decision to drop Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara as unfair. According to the 51-year-old, the two experienced players were singled out for the loss in South Africa.

He elaborated in this regard: “It is sad. If it was done a year and a half ago, when India were still at the top and winning, I would have backed that decision. Dropping Rahane and Pujara after losing one series is unfair. Then you are singling out these two, and that’s not the way to build sides.”

Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma, and Wriddhiman Saha
Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma, and Wriddhiman Saha
BCCI had announced an 18-man squad for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha are the major names missing while KL Rahul and Washington Sundar miss out due to injury.
While Ajinkya Rahane scored 136 runs in three Tests at an average of 22.67 during the series in South Africa, Cheteshwar Pujara managed only 124 runs at an average of 20.67.
Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
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I’ve No Complaints Against MS Dhoni, I Have Complaint To The BCCI: Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh, the former India spin legend opened up on the final stages of his international career and how the lack of support from the BCCI and ‘external factors’ pushed him out of the national reckoning despite the speed with which he was moving ahead as a bowler, following his retirement.

Not shy of taking names, Harbhajan Singh pointed out how MS Dhoni enjoyed unmatched support from the board unlike other players and how there’s a possibility of many villains should a biopic be made on his career someday.

Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP
Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP

Harbhajan Singh Has Been Good Friends With MS Dhoni

The remarks raised eyebrows and gave more credence to the rumours surrounding his alleged frosty relationship with MS Dhoni. However, in an exclusive conversation, Harbhajan Singh has dismissed any such notions and claims he in fact has been good friends with the legendary captain with which he won the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup.

“Very nice. I am not married to him!” pat came Harbhajan’s reply when enquired about his rapport with Dhoni.

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

When pressed further on his recent comments on MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh said it’s not in his control how others interpret his quotes but did question the way things changed post-2012 – and not just for him but other star players of that era.

“See, everyone interprets a quote differently. I just wanted to convey that a lot of things could have been better post 2012. (Virender) Sehwag, me, Yuvraj (Singh), (Gautam) Gambhir could have retired playing for Indian team since all of them were active in IPL as well.

“It is ironical that the Champions of the 2011 team never played together again! Why? Only few of them played in 2015 World Cup, why?” he asked.

Harbhajan Singh said he doesn’t have any complaints against MS Dhoni and referred to the legendary wicketkeeper-batter as a “good friend”.

The 2011 World Cup-winning squad of India consisting of superstars like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, and Zaheer Khan among others made India overwhelming favourites right from the start of the tournament. While contributions came from each individual, Yuvraj Singh had a stunning campaign in particular and swept the Man of the Tournament trophy for his 362 runs and 15 wickets.

Gautam Gambhir was one of the key architects of India’s historic win in the final with an unbeaten 97 off 122 balls. He set the stage for MS Dhoni to seal the victory with an iconic six in the penultimate over. MS Dhoni too played a crucial role in the final with his sublime 91 off 79 balls as he led from the front under pressure.

Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, and S Sreesanth were the players who were part of the iconic final but never made it together in the XI for another game for India.

Harbhajan Singh Has No Complaints Against MS Dhoni But Has Complaints To The BCCI And Selectors Who Didn’t Do Justice To Their Roles

The 41-year-old does say that while he has no complaints against MS Dhoni, he does have a few questions for the BCCI and selectors of that time.

“No, not at all. I have no complaints against MS. In fact, he has been a good friend all these years. I have complaint to the BCCI, the sarkar (government) of that time. I call BCCI as sarkar! The selectors of that time didn’t do justice to their roles. They didn’t allow the team to be united,” he said.

Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni© AFP
Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni© AFP

“What was the point of bringing in new guys when the greats were still around and delivering? I once confronted the selectors on this and their reply was it wasn’t in their hands and then I asked why they are the selectors, then?” he added.

Harbhajan Singh has played a lot of cricket under MS Dhoni and was even a member of India’s two World Cup-winning squads – the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup. To be precise, Harbhajan Singh has played 31 Tests, 77 ODIs and 25 T20Is under MS Dhoni’s leadership. The off-spinner, however, slowly started to lose his spot to Ravichandran Ashwin post the 2011 World Cup.

Hardik Pandya Image: PTI
Hardik Pandya Image: PTI

It Will Be An Advantage For Any Team To Have A Captain Like Hardik Pandya – Zaheer Khan

Former India speedster Zaheer Khan has backed Hardik Pandya to be a successful leader as the all-rounder has been named the captain of the newly inducted Ahmedabad franchise.

Zaheer Khan who worked with Hardik Pandya in Mumbai Indians believes that Pandya can use his experience in both batting and bowling to work things out as captain. Zaheer also feels that his energy will be an added spark to his captaincy.

“Hardik has experience in both batting and bowling and can use that in his captaincy. He always steps in with energy. It will be an advantage for any team to have a captain like him who plays with such energy,” Zaheer Khan spoke to Cricbuzz.

Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images
Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images

Hardik Pandya has been appointed as captain of the Ahmedabad franchise

For the past year or so things haven’t gone well for Hardik as he has been struggling with form and fitness as he also lost his place in the Indian team. Pandya was criticized heavily when India was knocked out from the T20 World Cup, but Zaheer has backed him to turn things around.

Former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel also opined that the all-rounder will do a fine job as leader despite no experience.

“We haven’t seen him as captain yet. But I am sure he will take up the challenge and do well in the role,” Parthiv Patel said.

On Friday the Ahmedabad franchise made an official announcement that their three draft pickings would be Hardik, Rashid Khan, and Shubman Gill. And they also named Hardik as the leader for the upcoming season.

Super excited to start this new journey in the new IPL team Ahmedabad. Just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the owners, the management for putting their faith in me as the captain of this team. It’s a new era for us and I’m excited (for) what lies ahead. What I can promise you is this team will always fight and give their all.” Pandya released a video on social media.

IPL 2022 is likely to begin in the last week of March and will go on till May last week.

Also read “I Think Joe Root Is A Brilliant Leader And He Should Continue”- Eoin Morgan

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Venkatesh Iyer (Getty)
Venkatesh Iyer (Getty)
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“India Should Have Given The Ball To Venkatesh Iyer”-Zaheer Khan

Former India pacer Zaheer Khan opined that India should have trusted Venkatesh Iyer with the ball. Iyer made his ODI debut on Wednesday against South Africa at Paarl as it didn’t turn out a fruitful one.

Iyer didn’t get a chance to roll his arm over as the proteas posted the total of 296/4 and also as he got a chance to bat, he was caught in the deep against a short ball at his individual score of 2 and India eventually fell short by 31 runs.

"India Should Have Given The Ball To Venkatesh Iyer"-Zaheer Khan 1
Venkatesh Iyer. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Venkatesh Iyer picked 9 wickets in 6 matches in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021.

Talking about the match, Zaheer Khan felt that India didn’t use their resources well. He said that KL Rahul should learn from his counterpart Temba Bavuma who exploited the conditions brilliantly. Also, Zaheer insisted that Venkatesh Iyer should have been trusted with the ball as it would have boosted the youngster’s confidence.

“The one thing you should learn is how Bavuma used his resources. He didn’t use seamers and spinners separately. We didn’t see either seamers or spinners operating in tandem for a long time. So, you made the best system out of resources you have,” Zaheer spoke to Cricbuzz.

He also said that India should have given him the ball irrespective of the match situation as that’s the only way they would judge his bowling.

“When you talk about Venkatesh Iyer, you should have given him the ball if you want to give him confidence. Don’t look at the match situation. If you’ve planned something, like you said earlier that you’re planning while keeping in mind the World Cup, so you have to show confidence right now. You will have to give him overs. A player only learns from his failures. You can’t buy experience in the market,” Zaheer said.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul-Reuters.

Interestingly in his T20I debut series, Venkatesh Iyer didn’t get a chance to bowl in his first two matches. In the third match, he bowled 3 overs with figures of 1/12.

“Suppose Iyer plays 4-5 matches and you don’t give him an over.. you can’t say later that we have an all-rounder ready in him. Yes, if he bowls, he will get better. I’m not only talking about Iyer in particular, it’s about a sixth option in general. You will have to give them chances; only then you will have options. Right now, it feels like you aren’t confident enough to back him,” said Zaheer.

Apart from his heroics with the bat, Venkatesh Iyer also picked 9 wickets in 6 matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22.

Also read “Are You Getting Everyone Out Inside 10 Overs?”- Mohammad Rizwan Recalls A Funny Exchange With Virat Kohli

Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami. Image Credits: Twitter
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Mohammad Shami Credits Late Father Who Passed Away In 2017 After Reaching 200 Wickets Mark

Mohammad Shami has said that the entire credit for his success goes to his late father, who had passed away in 2017.

Mohammad Shami’s remarks came as he took a five-wicket haul in the ongoing first Test against South Africa at the SuperSport Park, Centurion. Along the way, the pacer also completed 200 wickets in the longest format of the game.

Mohammad Shami / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Mohammad Shami / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Mohammad Shami: Celebration After Reaching 200 Wickets Mark Was For Late Father Who Passed Away In 2017

Mohammad Shami bagged a five-wicket haul, the sixth in his career, helping India bundle out the hosts for 197. Mohammad Shami is now the 11th Indian bowler to pick up 200 or more wickets and only the fifth fast bowler to reach the milestone. He is only behind Kapil Dev (434), Ishant Sharma (311), Zaheer Khan (311), and Javagal Srinath (236), at the moment.

“The celebration after reaching the 200 wickets mark was for my father, he had passed away in 2017. The entire credit for my success goes to him, I had a very good upbringing. I just wanted to credit my father as he was there for me throughout,” Mohammad Shami told bowling coach Paras Mhambrey.

Mayank Agarwal. (Photo: BCCI)
Mayank Agarwal. (Photo: BCCI)

“I was just thinking about how good the effort has been, I felt it would be nice if I can get a five-wicket haul. I also reached the 200 wickets landmark in Test cricket, it is a nice and proud feeling. When I took 100 wickets in Tests, I thought I have achieved something, after 200, I am feeling very good and I just hope to keep on performing for the side. The more you enjoy your cricket, performances keep on coming,” he added.

India might have lost Mayank Agarwal’s at the cusp of the stumps but the visitors still ended Day Three of the first Test against South Africa in the driver’s seat on Tuesday. India had bundled out South Africa for 197 in the third session before the hosts lost Mayank Agarwal’s wicket minutes before the end of the play. Shardul Thakur, KL Rahul then took India to 16/1 at stumps with a lead of 146 runs.

Jasprit Bumrah Twisted His Ankle In A Nasty Manner And Walked Off Field Before Resuming Bowling Later

Mohammad Shami (16-5-44-5) and his pace bowling colleagues Jasprit Bumrah (7.2-2-16-2), Mohammed Siraj (15.1-3-45-1), and Shardul Thakur (11-1-51-2) further enhanced their reputation as world-beaters by dismissing the Proteas for mere 197.

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

Jasprit Bumrah, in his follow-through, twisted his ankle in a nasty manner and walked off the field to receive medical treatment. After delivering the fifth ball of his 6th over, Jasprit Bumrah twisted his ankle and immediately went down on the ground in immense pain. He later joined the action towards the closing stages of the 2nd session.

Mohammad Shami / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Mohammad Shami / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
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Mohammad Shami Becomes 5th Indian Pacer To Scalp 200 Test Wickets Bagging 6th 5 Wicket Haul

Mohammad Shami on Tuesday became the fifth Indian fast bowler to scalp 200 wickets in Test cricket. The right-arm reached this feat during the third day of the ongoing Boxing Day Test against South Africa in Centurion. He bagged a five-wicket haul, the sixth in his career, helping India bundle out the hosts for 197.

Mohammad Shami garnered massive praise for his heroics in Centurion. Former South Africa batsman Daryll Cullinan was so impressed with the pacer’s performance that he compared Mohammad Shami to the likes of Shaun Pollock and James Anderson.

Mohammad Shami
Mohammad Shami—-Image Credits: Twitter

Mohammad Shami Reminds Daryll Cullinan Of The Likes Of Shaun Pollock And James Anderson

Daryll Cullinan lauded the experienced pacer for his seam position and control.

“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,” Daryll Cullinan said.

Daryll Cullinan played 70 Tests and 138 ODIs for South Africa cricket team.(Getty Images)
Daryll Cullinan played 70 Tests and 138 ODIs for the South Africa cricket team. (Getty Images)

“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.

As many as 18 wickets fell across three innings, the most in a day at this ground as it was Indian pacer Mohammad Shami (5/44 off 16 overs) who shone brightest. India was at 16/1 with a lead of 146 runs over South Africa at the stumps on Day 3 of the ongoing first Test at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.

The visiting side is in full control in the game but has lost its opener, Mayank Agarwal, early in the second innings. Marco Jensen was the only wicket-taker for South Africa in the second innings of Indian batting.

Mohammad Shami Is Only The 5th Indian Pacer To Reach The Milestone Of 200 Test Wickets

Mohammad Shami is now the 11th Indian bowler to pick up 200 or more wickets and only the fifth fast bowler to reach the milestone. He is only behind Kapil Dev (434), Ishant Sharma (311), Zaheer Khan (311), and Javagal Srinath (236), at the moment.

“Indian pace bowling is a formidable one because each and every member has worked hard and achieved it all with their sheer hard work. They have created their own little niche for themselves and yes they are the ones who have put in an immense amount of hard work in the last 6-7 years. They are here on their own,” said Mohammad Shami at the post-match presentation.

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

Mohammad Shami (16-5-44-5) and his pace bowling colleagues Jasprit Bumrah (7.2-2-16-2), Mohammed Siraj (15.1-3-45-1), and Shardul Thakur (11-1-51-2) further enhanced their reputation as world-beaters by dismissing the Proteas for mere 197. Temba Bavuma top-scored for South Africa with his 52-run knock.

The pace quartet neutralized Lungi Ngidi’s lion-hearted morning spell which saw him finish on 6 for 71 from 24 overs as India lost seven wickets from 55 runs to be all-out on 327. With a first-innings lead of 130, India at stumps reached 16 for 1 losing Mayank Agarwal’s wicket.

Jasprit Bumrah, in his follow-through, twisted his ankle in a nasty manner and walked off the field to receive medical treatment. After delivering the fifth ball of his 6th over, Jasprit Bumrah twisted his ankle and immediately went down on the ground in immense pain. He later joined the action towards the closing stages of the 2nd session.

Zaheer Khan (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)
Zaheer Khan (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)
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Zaheer Khan Reckons Mohammed Shami Is A Game-Changing Bowler

Zaheer Khan, the former left-arm pacer who has an impressive record playing Tests in South Africa, has singled out India’s 31-year-old player as a ‘game-changing bowler’. Zaheer Khan knows a thing or two about what it’s like to bowl in South Africa. The former India left-arm pacer has a fine record in the overseas country, having picked up 30 wickets from only eight Test matches.

His figures of 4/88 in Johannesburg 2013, and 3/36 in Durban 2010 are two of the best bowling spells by an Indian fast bowler in South Africa.

Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar
Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar

Zaheer Khan Sure Indian Pacers Will Relish The Challenge In South African Pitches Favouring Pacers

Ahead of the first Test between India and South Africa on Sunday, the former India pacer feels the pitches in the country will test the Indian pacers. The Indian pace attack will be led by Jasprit Bumrah, who had made his Test debut in South Africa in 2018.

“When you are playing in Johannesburg, you have the challenge of adjusting to the altitude (1,753 m). That’s one challenge every bowler has to face. The high altitude tests your fitness. Apart from that, fast bowlers really enjoy bowling in SA because there is always something in their pitches for them right through the Test. I am sure our bowlers will relish the challenge,” Zaheer Khan said.

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

Former India pacer Zaheer Khan has highly rated India’s fast bowling department ahead of the start of the South Africa Test series and reiterated the fact that the pace battery is capable of picking up 20 wickets in a match.

For the South Africa series, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will return, and along with Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, and Shardul Thakur, India will reform the pack that has made India a threat in overseas conditions.

Zaheer Khan: Mohammed Shami Is A Game-Changing Bowler As He Provides Crucial Breakthroughs At Critical Junctures

Zaheer Khan had a special mention for Mohammed Shami, whom he called a ‘game-changing bowler’. Mohammed Shami’s first tour of South Africa happened to be Zaheer Khan’s last, where the former left-arm quick mentored the pacer from Bengal in 2013.

Eight years later, Mohammed Shami has emerged to become a linchpin of India’s pace bowling attack. In fact, the last time India toured South Africa in 2018, Mohammed Shami picked up a five-for, finishing with 5/28, and played a crucial role in his team’s only win of the Test series.

Mohammed Shami has till now picked 21 scalps in 5 Tests in South Africa averaging 24.71. He has picked up as many as 11 scalps in the Wanderers Stadium playing 2 Tests which included the aforementioned 5 wicket haul.

“Watching his success gives me a great high. His journey has been fantastic; in fact, all Indian pacers have developed into fine bowlers. Shami has got a terrific record and is one of the leaders of the pack. The best part about him is that he provides crucial breakthroughs at crucial times,” added Zaheer.

Mohammed Shami ( AFP / Jewel SAMAD / Getty Images)
Mohammed Shami ( AFP / Jewel SAMAD / Getty Images)

“He is a game-changing bowler. I have always judged myself as well as other bowlers on the ability to prise out 2-3 important wickets in a spell that can potentially change the game. Shami has that ability. Not surprisingly, he is an important part of our world-class pace attack.”

Zaheer Khan spoke highly of Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj, who are usually the replacement bowlers. But while India has all boxes ticked as far as fast-bowling is concerned, Zaheer Khan pointed out one variety that the team lacks which is a left-arm pacer, even though it is no deal-breaker.

Notably, the rainbow nation is the only country where India hasn’t recorded a Test series win. As Virat Kohli’s men did well in England and Australia earlier this year, many are backing them to shine against the Proteas side as well. Calling the speedster a ‘truly world-class pacer,’ the veteran pacer said Jasprit Bumrah would enjoy bowling in the rainbow nation.

Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match. Sportzpics for IPL
Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match. Sportzpics for IPL
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Kieron Pollard Is One Of The Strongest Finishers In The Game: Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan, Mumbai Indians’ Director of Cricket Operations, has opened up about his side’s retention strategy. The five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians shocked many experts and fans of the cricket fraternity when they decided to retain 34-year-old West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard.

Zaheer Khan admitted that it was the influence of the all-rounder in the dressing room, which prompted them to retain him. The Mumbai-based side has several talented and young players in their ranks, making it even more difficult for them to choose just four men for retention.

Kieron Pollard(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Kieron Pollard(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Zaheer Khan: Kieron Pollard Is One Of The Strongest Finishers Of T20s

Mumbai retained a maximum of four players, the first of which was skipper Rohit Sharma (Rs 16 crore). The second player on the list was pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah (Rs 12 cr) followed by dashing middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav (Rs 8 crore). Mumbai Indians made just one overseas retention in dashing West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard for Rs 6 crore.

Zaheer Khan heaped praise on Kieron Pollard for being the leader of the pack for the longest time. He reckoned that Kieron Pollard is still among one of the best finishers in the game.

Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar
Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar
“Pollard has been the leader of this group for the longest time. One of the strongest finishers in the game. His influence around the team has been great. He leads from the front with Rohit Sharma. So each guy who are retained, they are leaders in their own positions, and in their own rights,” Zaheer Khan said.
MI also picked their main all-rounder Kieron Pollard who has won them numerous matches from challenging situations and has smashed 214 sixes for the franchise. Kieron Pollard is the second-highest run-getter in T20 cricket(11326 runs in 573 T20s), The big-fellow has also picked 300 wickets with the ball in the shortest format, making him one of the perfect players in the T20s.

Kieron Pollard Has Been With Mumbai Indians Franchise Since 2010

Kieron Pollard is the longest-serving player in the Mumbai Indians squad. He has been with the team since 2010 and won five titles with them. Kieron Pollard has scored 3268 runs in 178 IPL games averaging about 30, and a phenomenal strike rate of nearly 150. He has also taken 65 scalps in IPL history with a solitary 4 wicket haul. All of his IPL matches came for Mumbai Indians.

“Lot of the players started their journey here, they’ve groomed themselves here and a lot of the players from this group have gone on to represent their respective countries. So that’s what you feel proud about. It’s not the end of the road, that’s how one should look at it. So there’s still a chance that we get a lot of them back,” Zaheer concluded.

Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Instagram
Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Instagram

Mumbai Indians were forced to release some of the core members of their watch-winning group such as all-format Hardik Pandya, keeper Ishan Kishan, Proteas keeper Quinton de Kock, spin all-rounder Krunal Pandya, and pacer Trent Boult. On the players that Mumbai couldn’t retain, Zaheer Khan expressed pride that they started their career with Mumbai Indians and went on to represent their countries in international cricket.

Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Anmolpreet Singh, Aditya Tare, Quinton de Kock, Piyush Chawla, Anukul Roy, Jimmy Neesham, Marco Jansen, Adam Milne, Trent Boult, Dhawal Kulkarni, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mohsin Khan, Yudhvir Singh, Arjun Tendulkar, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, were the players who were released by Mumbai Indians before IPL 2022.

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