Mohammed Shami said India would need to bat well to post a respectable second-innings total against New Zealand on the reserve day of the World Test Championship final in Southampton on Wednesday.
After light showers delayed start on Day 5, Shami’s incisive spell of four for 76 helped bowl New Zealand out for 249. With openers Rohit Sharma (30) and Shubman Gill (8) falling after seeing off the new ball, India ended the day on 64 for 2 and a 32-run lead. Virat Kohli (8 n.o.) and Cheteshwar Pujara (12 n.o.) are at the crease.
“In English conditions, it is impossible to predict how many overs would be needed to bowl out the opposition. The team management has not decided on going for a win or draw at the moment. Our focus now is to build a strong total and then assess the situation from there on how to approach the game with the time left in hand,” Shami said at a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old said it was important for the Indian seamers to bowl a fuller length to restrict the opposition batsmen. “Obviously, in a Test match, you need to adjust your line and length according to the nature of the wicket, and we cannot continue with a fixed plan on all five days. So we needed to shuffle our plan as a unit (and bowl a fuller length) today,” said Shami.
Weighing in on his performance, Shami said: “Whenever the team has needed me to perform, I have tried to give my 100 per cent. I have always been an attacking bowler, and I continue to remain so. I plan my line and lengths with the captain (Kohli) and maintain it as much as possible to help the side.”