‘Absolutely World-Class Talent’, Virat Kohli Praises Mohammed Shami

Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami
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The Indian team has made history by defeating South Africa by 113 runs, becoming the first Asian side to win a Test match at Centurion. South Africa have only lost one match in Centurion since 2001, whereas India had lost their last two meetings in 2010 and 2018.

Only two South African hitters managed to surpass the 50-run mark in both innings, indicating that the South African batsmen were completely outclassed by the Indian bowling assault. From the initial delivery, the Indian bowlers continued to pose challenging questions to the hosts, and they enjoyed the rewards. Mohammed Shami was the most outstanding bowler, taking a fifer in the first innings and completing his 200th Test wicket.

At the conclusion of the match, Virat Kohli lauded the bowlers’ efforts and acknowledged Shami as one of the finest pacers in the world- currently. Kohli also stated that South African batsmen were expected to score about 40 runs during the first innings while Jasprit Bumrah didn’t bowl much due to an ankle injury.

It’s always a difficult place to play against SA (Centurion): Virat Kohli

He also stated that he trusted the bowlers will achieve for the squad since they have done so in the past, particularly away from home. “Knew the bowlers will do the job. Spoke about it in the change room – the fact he didn’t bowl much in the first innings, it allowed SA to get around 40 more runs (Bumrah),” Kohli said in the post-match presentation ceremony.

“Just the way these guys bowl together has been a hallmark of our team getting a result in difficult situations. Absolutely world-class talent (Shami). For me he’s in the best three seamers in the world at the moment. His strong wrist, his seam position and his ability to hit a length consistently,” he added.

Kohli also hailed the Indian openers, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, who put up 117 runs for the 1st wicket after winning the toss. They were only the third Indian opening partnership to carry up a 100-run partnership in South Africa. Kohli also stated that after passing the 300-run mark in the first innings, he believed the team was in a leading condition.

“Got off to the perfect start. Have to understand one day was washed out – shows how well we played. It’s always a difficult place to play against SA (Centurion). The discipline that the batters showed,” said Kohli. Winning the toss, batting first overseas is a tough challenge. Credit to Mayank and KL the way they set it up. We knew we were in pole position with anything over 300-320,” he added.

India and South Africa will play the 2nd Test on January 3 in Johannesburg, where India last won in 2018. The Indian captain also said that the squad enjoys playing at this place. “Got so much confidence out of Johannesburg last time. It’s a ground we love playing at,” the 33-year-old concluded.

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