After the conclusion of Sri Lanka series, Team India will head off for their biggest tour of the recent times in South Africa. In order to prepare properly for the forthcoming challenge, Virat Kohli and company desperately wanted to hone their skills on hard and bouncy wickets. However, their wish wasn’t fulfilled by the Jamtha and Kotla curators because of certain factors.
Seeing the pitches in Nagpur and Delhi, India fast bowler Mohammed Shami has said that it is not the ideal way to gear up for the all-important tour, which will start from January 5 in Cape Town.
"The kind of tracks we would have wanted to bowl on before going to South Africa haven't been provided. So it didn't go as per our plans. But it is a good thing that on these kind of pitches, you need to work even harder as a fast bowler. These tracks test your fitness as you get to bowl long spells," Shami was quoted by PTI as saying after the end of the third day's play in Delhi.
"If you see, fast bowlers have little chance to bowl long spells, especially in India. It is a rarity that fast bowlers are getting to bowl more than 25 or 30 overs. Earlier it used to be at the max -- 12 to 14 overs -- but if you see in the past one and half years, we are continuously sending down 20 to 25 overs,” he added.
While India posted a mammoth 610/6 on a flat Nagpur pitch with four top-order batsmen amassing their respective tons, the same story unfolded at Kotla as Virat Kohli’s troops piled up 536/7 (declared) with Vijay (155) and Kohli (243) notching up their 11th and 20th Test centuries.
"The ball was holding onto the pitch. I didn't find any reverse. Because, the pace at which we (him and Ishant Sharma) bowl, had there been reverse, we would have finished their innings today itself," Shami remarked.
There were quite a few catches dropped off his bowling but Shami defended the fielders by saying that: "Fielders are not machines that they will grab anything that comes their way! Yes, you might get angry when a catch is dropped but as a unit, we are playing round the year for the country. It's part and parcel of the game, you have to ignore and move on."
"It's after a long time this unit has dropped so many catches. You need to take it in your stride and move on. We need to work hard and improve," the speedster concluded.