WTC Final: Mohammed Shami reveals India’s PLAN on final day, ‘need runs on board’

Team India paceman Mohammed Shami never regrets missing out on a five-wicket haul as he threw some light on what India’s plan might be on the final day of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final against New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

“I never regret missing out on five-wicket hauls or other such achievements. Such thoughts don’t cross our minds. I love playing for my country and that is it,” Shami, India’s man of the day with four wickets, said in a post-match conference.

Talking about strategy in the potential fourth innings of the match against Kiwis, Shami believes that India needs runs on the board and a plan to execute it. “I can’t say how much we can dismiss them for in the fourth innings of the match. We need time and a plan, which we will obviously work out. We will need runs on the board and backup.”

Shami was also pleased with his efforts that helped India make a comeback in the match. “Obviously as you play the Test match, you can’t stick to one plan for five days. You need to be flexible and set up lines as per the track. We needed to bowl those tight lines which benefits the team in order to restrict New Zealand to as less as possible. So the pressure created momentum and we got wickets in clutches.”

The Kings XI Punjab paceman was also happy that he was able to deliver for the team at the right moment.

“Whenever the team has needed me, I have given my 100 percent. I always try to attack, go for the wickets. Once the captain guides me on where to bowl, I focus on doing that, trying to maintain the kind of line and length expected from me.”

Earlier, New Zealand were bundled out for 249 in the first innings on Tuesday. Shami and Ishant Sharma provided India a momentum before Ravichandran Ashwin removed Neil Wagner at the cusp of the tea as the Kiwis extended their lead before being bowled out for 249. India were on top after the first session on Tuesday but New Zealand fought back to take a crucial first-innings lead.

In the last session of Day 5, Rohit Sharma got India off the mark as he played with soft hands for three runs. It was a slow start for India as the side scored 24 in the 10 overs. Tim Southee provided New Zealand with the breakthrough as he trapped Shubman Gill in front of the stumps for 8. Gill became Southee’s 600th international wicket.

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Sagar Biswas

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