HomeCricket"Shami will be a...": Rohit Sharma ahead of first Test against South...

“Shami will be a…”: Rohit Sharma ahead of first Test against South Africa – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the opening Test against South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, Indian captain Rohit Sharma highlighted the absence of veteran pacer Mohammed Shami as a significant setback for the team during the series. He emphasised the pivotal role that each bowler, including the spinners, will play on the bouncy South African surfaces that favour seamers.
Following a drawn T20I series (1-1) and a victorious ODI series (2-1), India are determined to secure their maiden Test series triumph in South Africa.

“Our seamers have earned that respect, because of how they perform in overseas conditions. For the last five to seven years, they have done well in Australia, England and South Africa. Even in South Africa, we won the first Test last year but came close in the next two matches. They have pulled their weight in and given us what we expect from them. Shami will be a big miss, his experience and what he has done for our team over the years. Someone will come to fill his place, it is not going to be easy, but we have a lot of confidence in whoever takes his place,” said Rohit in the post match conference.

Talking about the conditions, Rohit said that the bowlers get a lot of help due to bounce and lateral movement that fast bowlers get and not a day goes without facing challenges in South Africa.

“Bowlers dominate here a lot due to pace and lateral movement seamers get. As the game goes on, cracks open in the surface and it gives invariable bounce. Every day has its own challenges. As the game goes on, it gets tougher. But these are things you want to do in your career, playing against the top teams in difficult conditions. We have had a decent time preparing for the series,” said Rohit.

“Every bowler will have a massive role, even spinners. Even when there is not much help for them, they have to do a job to contain the run flow. Seamers have done the job for us here. They play a second-fiddle role as spinners control runs and create pressure on batters. We have two experienced spinners who know what is required. There is not much talking we need to do in terms of strategy. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin are also attacking with the ball,” he added.

Rohit said that it is tough to play in South Africa as a batter, but he is looking forward to that challenge.
“As a batter, it is a challenge to come and perform in South Africa as a batter. It is one of the toughest places to be as a batter. I was not here last time, but looking forward to that challenge, to do my job and see where it takes us,” said the skipper.

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