2nd Test, Day 1: Mindset of whole team doesn’t get affected by winning or losing toss, says Shami

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BY NIHARIKA RAINA

New Delhi– India’s senior fast bowler Mohammed Shami stated that the mindset of the team isn’t affected by either winning or losing toss, adding that the players are focused on fulfilling their responsibilities in the best possible manner.

On Day One of the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Friday, India were put into bowling first and managed to bundle out Australia for 263 on a pitch which had more turn and bounce than what it was during the first Test in Nagpur.

“Winning or losing toss isn’t in our hands. But no matter what the conditions are, the mindset of the whole team doesn’t get affected by winning or losing the toss, as one doesn’t have to go to that frame of mind. One has to keep the mindset that whatever responsibilities are given first, we will do it very well.”

“We always have that kind of mindset and be positive all the time. All the boys are in good mood and laughing as well as chatting with each other. Our mindset is that, whether we win or lose the toss, we will do our best as a team, and not think too much,” said Shami in the post-match press conference.

Shami was the pick of the bowlers for India, taking 4/60 in 14.4 overs and bowled line and lengths which asked questions of the Australian batting line-up. “If you see specially, there isn’t much difference in Indian wickets. It is just that you get help from the new ball and with the old ball if you are able to get the reverse swing.”

“But in the Indian conditions, as a fast bowler, you have to bowl well in the areas and have to maintain your pace. There wasn’t a difference as such, as runs were coming, but it is important to find a good area,” he added.

Asked if the pitch favoured fast bowlers more than spinners though Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took six wickets combined, Shami replied, “According to me, when we come after playing domestic matches, I think all the fast bowlers have come here after performing well and know the home conditions very well. It will be wrong to say that pitches are conducive for fast bowlers or spinners.”

“Take up the recent domestic season records, the fast bowlers have performed very well. But it is necessary to focus on line and length, maintain pace and improve fitness. Even if there isn’t something for the Indian fast bowlers, we will get reverse.”

“There isn’t much difference, but it is a bit slow at the top. But if you see the areas for a fast bowler, where there should be this line and length, there is bounce and some help for them too. We do need to accept that wickets in India will be on the slower side.”

Shami, who found some reverse swing at the end to send the off-stumps of Nathan Lyon and Matthew Kuhnemann on cartwheel rides, also thought that the usage of a short ball ploy in Indian conditions will be a great idea.

“There is a difference in terms of bounce (from both ends). But it is filled in our minds from the start that Indian conditions are on the slower side and are not great for fast bowlers. But I feel that using the short ball in Indian conditions will be great.”

“Bouncer is always a great option. If it works, it’s great, but if it doesn’t, it’s even better if a short leg is placed. Whatever plans the team makes or do the changes on the field, it’s great and bouncer will be in the play.”

Quizzed about the success of his bowling partnership with Mohammed Siraj, who had a fiery opening spell, Shami opined that India had been great in bowling in pairs in the last couple of years.

“Making comparisons will not be great as bowlers come and go. We are here and will also go one day. But the formation of a pair is very important. When we have bowled in pairs, we have seen the results it can bring in the last six-seven years for the Indian team.”

“All the fast bowlers in the last few years in the team enjoy each other’s success and play as if it’s their own success. We share that spirit and results coming from it are of a different level if you see past records.” (IANS)

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