Former South African legend Fanie de Villiers was exceedingly impressed with the Indian pacer Mohammed Shami for the performance he produced in the ongoing Test series against South Africa. More update on Cricket Buzz
The world No.1 Test side is currently 2-0 down in the series, but nothing to take away from Shami. He has produced some top-class swing bowling and manages to pick 9 wickets at an incredible average of 20.22 in the series so far.
Fanie de Villiers rated Sami the highest as he feels Sami could be the part of the South Africa’s pace battery and will make into the playing XI "Shami is a good bowler. He could play for South Africa and fit into their pace attack very well,"
“He has a beautiful out-swinger, runs in hard, bowls at 140s, and most importantly, he consistently bowls that line to first slip. He bowls the line Glenn McGrath did, Shaun Pollock did, Ian Botham did, Dale Steyn does, and so, he is India's best Test bowler," de Villiers quoted.
Fanie de Villiers also praised the quality of Hardik Pandya but surprised that Virat Kohli left out Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second Test.
"When you are bowling in South Africa, it is important to have that away-swinging line. Shami has that. Hardik Pandya has that too, but he doesn't have too much pace. Until he gets that pace he will not be a big wicket-taker.
"He will fit into India's overseas plans very well though, because he bowls that away-swinging line. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also has that, but he didn't play in Centurion," he opined.
Fanie said: "I am genuinely surprised that Kumar didn't play. He should be playing all overseas Test matches for India. He is someone who can take the ball away from right-handers and then bring it back into left-handers as well.
"That is the future of world cricket on quicker wickets and this has been the past. Jasprit Bumrah bowled well, but he primarily bowls into the right-hander, or bowls into the stumps. Even on flat wickets like Centurion, Kumar can average 4 wickets per match. It was a big mistake not picking him.
"Ishant Sharma bowls into the stumps. Bumrah bowls into the stumps too. In South Africa, you cannot have two pacers bowling into the batsmen on a wicket like this. Bumrah bowled well in patches yes, but is he going to take 8-9 wickets in a Test? How many times has Ishant picked 8-9 wickets in a Test?
"He cannot, because he bowls an incoming delivery into the bat. Kumar can do it, Shami can do it, and they have done it before if I am not mistaken, because they have the away going delivery. So, Shami is your future, Kumar is your future, and they bowl quick enough to be in that category. Even Pandya is your future (if he adds a little pace)," he explained.
The world No. 1 Test team will look to salvage some pride in the third Test starting at the Wanderers (Johannesburg) on January 24.
Team India will take on South Africa for the final Test match starting from January 24. It will be a battle for pride for the Indian Team, as they look to avoid the fate of 3-0 whitewash.
When asked if Indian team could avoid the whitewash, De Villiers said, "They had their chance at Centurion. It was a wicket tailor-made for India, not South Africa. I don't think Wanderers will be a friendlier wicket than that."
"The conditions will once again be different and the only chance is if Indian batsmen reel themselves in and play more conservatively to stay-in at the crease. In India, once you get in, you become flamboyant and play lots of shots.
"In these conditions, you will get out playing too many shots. In India you don't get out, and the way they are playing now, if they play 10 Tests overseas, they will lose 9 out of 10. I expect better from the World no.1 Test side," he concluded.