With both his arms up in the air and a big smile on his face, India pacer Mohammed Shami seemed like he was passing on a message to someone after completing his 200th Test wicket in the first Test against South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. More than ecstasy, it was a sense of relief mixed with feelings of being content for the right-arm seamer. As it turns out, it indeed was. Shami, in an interview with bowling coach Paras Mhambrey after the third day’s play, said the celebration was for his father. Shami lost his father in 2017. The fast bowler dedicated his 200th Test wicket to his father.
“The celebration after reaching the 200 wickets mark was for my father, he had passed away in 2017. The entire credit for my success goes to him, I had a very good upbringing. I just wanted to credit my father as he was there for me throughout,” Shami told bowling coach Paras Mhambrey on BCCI.TV.
200 Test wickets ????
A terrific 5-wicket haul ????
An emotional celebration ????#TeamIndia pacer @MdShami11 chats up with Bowling Coach Paras Mhambrey after a memorable outing on Day 3 in Centurion. ???????? – By @28anand
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 29, 2021
Shami was simply brilliant on Day 3, grabbing a five-wicket haul to help India bowl South Africa out for 197 and take a sizable 130-run lead in the Boxing Day Test. The 31-year-old dismissed Kagiso Rabada to become the fastest Indian (in terms of balls bowled) to reach the 200th wicket mark.
Shami said he was “proud” to contribute to the team’s cause.
“I was just thinking about how good the effort has been, I felt it would be nice if I can get a five-wicket haul. I also reached the 200 wickets landmark in Test cricket, it is a nice and proud feeling. When I took 100 wickets in Tests, I thought I have achieved something, after 200, I am feeling very good and I just hope to keep on performing for the side. The more you enjoy your cricket, performances keep on coming,” he added.
The UP-born cricketer finished with figures of 5 for 44 in his 10 overs as India took complete control of the first Test.
India lost opener Mayank Agarwal cheaply but by the close of play on Tuesday they were 16 for 1, enjoying a lead of 146 runs. First innings centurion KL Rahul was at the crease with nightwatchman Shardul Thakur for company.
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