Former South Africa cricketer Daryll Cullinan was effusive in praise for Indian pacer Mohammed Shami. The 31-year-old was terrific with the ball in the first Test versus South Africa in Centurion. He bagged his sixth five-wicket haul and rattled the hosts. In the process, the right-hand pacer also got to his 200th wicket in Test cricket. It was a phenomenal display of pace bowling with exemplary discipline in line and length.
India suffered a massive blow when their pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah had to return to the pavilion after twisting his ankle. Shami though made sure he made up for his teammate’s absence by wreaking havoc with the ball. Cullinan felt it was a fantastic piece of fast bowling by the Indian pacer and lauded him for his seam position and control. The former South Africa batter even compared him with Shaun Pollock and James Anderson.
“His seam position is perfectly up there. Just watching him bowl today reminded me of the likes of (Shaun) Pollock, (James) Anderson. They don’t seem to waste a ball. If you’re on strike, there’s constantly that subtle variation and good seam positions. It is not as if you anticipate the line and length,” Cullinan told Cricinfo.
Cullinan further opined there was a clarity of thought process in the way Shami bowled. He felt the Indian pacer constantly kept asking questions and made South Africa batters work hard for every run.
“It’s that control which may vary, sort of a foot wide in the crease. It may be a foot fuller or shorter. He finds that in-between lengths where you never know whether you should be forward or back. He’s constantly asking you questions. You can see there’s a thought process behind everything that he is doing,” he added.