India made it to their fourth final of the ODI World Cup on Wednesday (November 15) with a brilliant performance against New Zealand in the semifinal. While Virat Kohli hogged all the limelight with his record 50th century, Mohammed Shami was the one who ended up winning the player of the match award for his scintillating bowling performance.
On a pitch where a massive 724 runs were scored at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Shami returned with the bowling figures of 7/57, the best ever for India in the One-Day International format. He became the first Indian bowler to pick up seven wickets in an innings in the format and also broke Stuart Binny’s nine-year-old record.
Binny had registered figures of 6/4 in 2014 against Bangladesh when a second string Indian team had defended just 103 runs in Mirpur. The likes of Anil Kumble (6/12), Jasprit Bumrah (6/19) and Mohammed Siraj (6/21) among many others, all had picked up six wickets in an innings but Shami surpassed all of them with an exceptional show at the iconic Wankhede.
Coming back to Shami, to think that he was not a part of the first-choice playing XI until Hardik Pandya got injured is startling now. The man himself, after winning the player of the match award, stated that he was just waiting for his turn to come to perform and win matches for country. “I was waiting for my turn. I wasn’t playing much white ball cricket. I had in mind, we talk about a lot of things like yorkers and slower balls. I tried to take wickets with the new ball. I try to take as many as I can with the new ball. I dropped the catch of Kane. I felt bad. I tried to take pace off. They were playing their shots. So, I took a chance.
“The wicket was good. There was the fear of dew. The grass was cut off nicely. The runs were enough. Had dew come in, things could have been bad. The slower balls might not have worked. I feel amazing. This is a huge platform. We lost in the semis in the 2015 and the 2019 WC. Looking to cash in with the chance I have been given. We don’t know when all of us will get a chance like this again,” Shami said after the match.
Best bowling figures for India in ODIs:
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