Mohammed Shami gets it right on his first tour of South Africa
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The loudest cheer that had rung out around SuperSport Park till then was when the PA system declared that the bars around the ground, and there are many, will remain open even after the match is over. Just a few moments later, came a second roar.
For, even the smattering of spectators in Centurion had assumed that Hashim Amla had hit the knee-height full-toss for four and not into the hands of Yuvraj Singh positioned close-in at square-leg.
The immediate reaction from Amla was one of shock. Then came the shake of the head. Mohammed Shami wasn't complaining though but couldn't mask a sheepish grin. It was the third time in succession that he had dismissed South Africa's most prolific batsman in the series, even if it was in fortuitous fashion on this occasion. More importantly, like he has done over the last 10 days, Shami had come into the attack and made things happen. At the Wanderers, he had gotten rid of a well-set Amla by rushing him and getting him to play-on, while at Durban, Shami had his man with a cleverly-disguised slow bouncer. He made it three out of three in his first over on Wednesday.
Just like in Johannesburg and Durban, here too the Bengal seamer looked more incisive than his pace bowling colleagues from his very first ball.
There suddenly seemed to be more carry off the wicket with Mahendra Singh Dhoni having to collect more balls in front of his face. There seemed to be movement off the SuperSport Park wicket that was conspicuous by its absence till then and the batsmen too were being made to be more cautious. Shami had instilled some intensity into the bowling attack for the umpteenth occasion. His first spell was of three overs, where he beat the bat more often than Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. He also seemed to be clocking higher speeds consistently than Yadav, the official tearaway of the Indian bowling arsenal.
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