The Indian bowling attack has cracked the code to dismiss England batsmen. According to pace bowler Mohammed Shami, who took 3/28 in England’s first innings on the first day of the first Test on Wednesday, it is the incoming delivery.
“Maximum number of England batsmen fall on incoming deliveries. The ball was holding up a bit. So I was just trying to move it from leg stump and middle stump [into the batsmen],” the India pace bowler said to media in a virtual interaction.
Five of England’s top six batsmen fell to deliveries that came in. Shami scalped three of those top six, and all were on those that came in, including the wicket of Dan Lawrence who was caught down the leg-side.
Shami’s wicket of Jonny Bairstow at the stroke of tea is what turned the day in India’s favour. Bairstow and skipper Joe Root had added 72 for the fourth wicket and looked like taking host England to a decent total.
However, at 138/3, Shami brought one back in from middle-stump and trapped the England No. 5 in front. Soon, he had Daniel Lawrence on the other side of tea to have England five wickets down for 138.
“That wicket [of Bairstow] was on an incoming delivery and that held a bit. It wasn’t that I tried much. Just tried to hit a bit hard,” added Shami.
The 30-year-old from Moradabad, who represents Bengal in Ranji Trophy, said the Trent Bridge pitch does not have much for bowlers.
“I don’t think the ball did much the entire day. We bowled on the right lengths, we got wickets according to that only,” he said.
“I was just looking at the length and line, nothing much. Keeping it simple. Just did it for one and a half hour, and I got the result,” the fast bowler said further.
The fact that there is not much in the pitch bodes well for the Indian batting. However, the first hour will be crucial as both James Anderson and Stuart Broad are masters at it. They kept it tight for the 13 overs they bowled, conceding only 21 runs.
“With this score of 183, we should build a big total and take lead. It is a good position. If you bowl any team for 183 at their home, then it is a chaseable target. We have to focus on the first hour. Doesn’t matter if it is 183 or 283. You have to just focus and add some runs,” said the right-arm pace bowler.
“You have to play the first hour carefully, you don’t lose your focus and stay on the wicket. Stay in control. The first thing is to achieve the score and then think of the lead. The main focus will be to get 183 runs and then extend lead.”