Photo: Twitter/ @BCCI

Mohammed Shami led the charge on Tuesday as a rejuvenated India fought back against New Zealand in the 2021 World Test Championship. Shami stood out as the pick of the bowlers for India after the first innings at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, keeping India very much in the contest in the World Test Championship final. 

Having restricted India to just 217 runs in the first innings, Kane Williamson’s New Zealand were looking in full control with the score at 117/2. In search of a wicket, Indian skipper Virat Kohli threw the ball to Mohammed Shami, and the seasoned seamer delivered, forcing Ross Taylor into a false shot which found the fielder at short covers. 

Shami continued to break the back of the New Zealand middle-order, as he sent BJ Walting packing with a ball that swung in devilishly to chip away his off stump. The dangerous Colin de Grandhomme was next to face the wrath of Mohammed Shami, as he was trapped in front of the wicket with a delivery that swung late, triggering a mini-collapse of the Kiwis as they found themselves from 117/2 to 162/6. 

Kyle Jamieson tried to counter charge for New Zealand in the World Test Championship final, getting a six early on. He tried to hook Shami as well, but this time found Jasprit Bumrah in the deep, as the Punjab Kings pacer ended with figures of 4/76- his second best figures on English soil. 

Shami bowled tirelessly throughout the innings, and was arguably unlucky to not have a wicket under his kitty on Day 3, despite inducing several plays and misses. On Day 5 however, the seasoned pacer shrewdly pitched the ball up more often, and rightfully earned the plaudits. 

Shami’s Southampton love affair

This isn’t the first time that Mohammed Shami has performed admirably at the Ageas Bowl, as this was the very venue where he picked up a hattrick against Afghanistan in the 2019 Cricket World Cup, exactly two years to the day. 

Two years on, Shami continues to shine amidst dark clouds at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl, keeping India in the contest after one innings in the World Test Championship final.