Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar recalled India's tour to South Africa in 2018 when the then India head coach Ravi Shastri had fired up Mohammad Shami. It was the third Test against South Africa in 2018 at Wanderers when Shami had picked up only 1 wicket in the first innings.
The speedster had also conceded runs at an economy of 3.83 in 12 overs. Shastri poked Shami by reminding him that the pitch is assisting the bowlers and there can't be an excuse for not picking wickets.
In the next innings, Shami had bagged a fifer and helped India register their third win in South Africa by bowling the hosts out on 177 runs in a 241-run chase.
“At the Wanderers, the last time around in 2018, was when they actually got stuck into him apparently because till then he hadn’t really delivered. They said to him that on this pitch if you’re not going to take wickets then… So the word is and I am not too sure that Ravi gave him a rocket. And then he came out and destroyed South Africa. Sometimes you know, you need to put an arm around a player, sometimes you’ve got to just get stuck into him,” Gavaskar said on air.
On Wednesday (January 12), Jasprit Bumrah was the star performer with a figure of 5/42 in the first innings of the third Test. Shami complemented him very well and picked up 2/39 which included breaking a crucial partnership between Temba Bavuma and Keegan Petersen
“Somebody of his calibre, you can’t keep him out of the game for a long time. He had seen Yadav take a couple of wickets, he had seen Bumrah bowl splendidly and take 2 wickets. So he wanted to contribute. And he came in and did it at the right time.
"That Bavuma and Petersen partnership was a delight to watch but at the same time it was threatening India, so they needed a wicket at that stage and Shami delivered it,” Gavaskar added.
(With Star Sports Inputs)