WTC Final: India need to score enough runs and then look at making New Zealand bat again, says Mohammed Shami


India fast bowler Mohammed Shami has said the team hasn’t discussed anything about setting a particular target for New Zealand on the Reserve Day of the World Test Championship final and all their focus would be on batting well in the morning session on Wednesday.

Mohammed Shami said there has been a lot of time lost due to the rain in the historic final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton and it’s advisable India don’t into the Reserve Day thinking too much about the possible outcomes.

Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara will resume India’s innings after they headed to Stumps on Day 5 at 64 for 2. After losing their openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma, India have a 32-run lead.

WTC Final, India vs New Zealland Day 5: Highlights

It will be interesting to see the approach from India, considering the improving batting conditions in Southampton. There was a fair amount of sunshine on Tuesday and the ball wasn’t doing as much as the first two days of action in the WTC final. It remains to be seen if India can push forward and set New Zealand a target.

The Asian giants might have to make a bold call but they will also be mindful of the weather and the help their bowlers will get on the final day.

“We haven’t discussed anything as of now. We have started our second innings now and we have to make a lot of runs. Our focus now should be scoring runs,” Shami told the press after Day 5 in Southampton.

“We have lost a lot of time due to rain, so we can’t think too much apart from scoring as many runs as possible. With the time we have, we need to score runs and then look at making New Zealand bat again with sufficient time in hand,” he added.

Don’t regret not taking a 5-wicket haul: Shami

Shami was the star for India with the ball as the senior pacer finished the first innings with a 4-wicket haul. Even as Jasprit Bumrah was struggling for consistency of length, Shami was letting the ball rip from the surface wonderfully. After going wicketless on Sunday despite bowling his heart out, Shami was rewarded for his hard work on Tuesday.

Shami got India their first breakthrough on Tuesday when he sent Ross Taylor back for 11. He then castled BJ Watling with a peach of an outswinger before removing Kyle Jamieson and Colin de Grandhomme.

Shami could have become the first Indian bowler to take a 5-wicket haul in a Test Championship final but he looked tired after bowling a long spell in the final session of Day 5.

“Never, I never feel that way. When you play for the country every moment you are out in the field is a proud one. Sometimes you can get tired, when you work as a unit, you can bowl long spells but never does the thought of not being able to not being able to take 5 wickets crosses my mind. I don’t regret it.

“You can never come out of a match thinking ‘oh I should have got 5 instead of 4, 4 instead of 3’. As a sportsman it’s important to remain in a positive frame of mind,” Shami added.

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