Mohammed Shami was on fire on Day 5 of the 1st Test vs South Africa in Vizag (AP Photo)
- "Shami is relentless, very skilful and at you all the time," Shastri said
- Mohammed Shami picked up his fifth 5-wicket on Day 5 of the Vizag Test
- Since 2018, Shami has picked 40 wickets in the 15 times he has bowled in the 2nd innings
India head coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday heaped praise on fast bowler Mohammed Shami after his heroics in the first Test against South Africa helped the hosts take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series last Sunday.
Shami picked up his fifth five-wicket haul in the longest format and ran through the Proteas batting lineup to help India win by 203 runs on the final day of the Vizag Test.
Shami bowled with a lot of heart on a low and slow pitch which was more suited for the spinners and he used the conditions to great effect to become only the 5th Indian pacer after Karsan Ghavri, Kapil Dev,
Madan Lal and Javagal Srinath to pick up a five-wicket haul in the 4th innings of a Test match at home.
"To bounce back from personal issues and bowl the way he did was remarkable. He is relentless, very skilful and at you all the time. I would have hated to face him.
"He is at you all the time, he is very skilful and in conditions like yesterday few bowlers in the world are better than him," Ravi Shastri was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
The pacer's effort was appreciated by his teammates as well as skipper Virat Kohli, who called Shami the striker bowler for India in the second innings after the Vizag Test.
"Shami has been the strike bowler for us in the 2nd innings consistently now. If you see all his 4, 5-wicket hauls, it comes in the 2nd innings where the team invariably needs it. He reverses it well. That's his strength," Virat Kohli said.
Shami's stats in the second innings in Test cricket are phenomenal to say the least. Since 2018, he has picked 40 wickets in the 15 times he has bowled in the 2nd innings of a Test and averages 17.70 with a strike rate of 32.10.
During the same time, he has bowled 16 times in the first innings and bagged 23 wickets at 37.56 with a strike rate of 70.5.