Mohammed Shami and Axar Patel of India were vital in helping their team achieve 400 runs in the first Test match against Australia in Nagpur, giving their team a dominating lead in the first innings.
Shami batted first on Day 3 and seemed in total control from the outset, rotating the attack with Axar Patel and smashing poor deliveries into the seats. He knocked in 37 runs off 47 deliveries, including two fours and three massive sixes. The fast bowler’s innings poured salt in the wounds of the Australians, as he looked sturdy at the crease.
The pair discussed their relationship after the match on BCCI.tv. “Aaj hamare sath Nagpur se aaye Mr Lala, itna confidence se aaye, kya soch rhe the (Today, we have Mr Lala [Mohammed Shami] from Nagpur, what were you thinking?)” said Axar.
“Kuch nhi yaar, aap vahan batting kar rhe toh mera ek hi role tha ki jitni der ho sake vahan rukho,” Shami said. Nothing, you were hitting, my task was to remain as long as possible and demonstrate patience, but I couldn’t.”
“Mein aapko bole jaa rha hu thande hojao, eyes rakh lo, mein jab bola eyes rakh lo aapne chakka maara, mein fir bola eyes rakh lo aapne chakka maara,” Axar said. I advised you to be patient, and you struck a six. I told you the same thing again, and you hit another six).” Shami said, “Ego wounded ho gya tha (My ego was damaged).”
The second Test of the series begins in New Delhi on Friday, February 17. The Aussies may have further challenges since the Delhi wicket may end up helping spinners.