Here's what Shoaib Akhtar said about Mohammed Shami's tactical bowling
India were in a precarious position on Wednesday, as they looked on the verge of losing the third T20I against New Zealand, in Hamilton. However, it was pacer Mohammed Shami's tactical bowling that allowed India to script a monumental comeback, despite odds against their favor. Meanwhile, based on Shami's heroics, former Pakistan speedster, Shoaib Akhtar, termed him as the world's best pacer. Here's why.
How did Shami save India in the 3rd T20I?
It was in the final over of Kiwis' chase when Shami had nine runs to defend. While the opening ball of the over was smashed for a six by Ross Taylor, he bowled smart thereon. He gave away just two more runs, as he also claimed two crucial wickets to ensure that India stayed alive in the game, while the match was tied.
Akhtar credits Shami for his experienced bowling at pressure situations
Speaking on Shami's bowling at the death, Akhtar said that he was certain that the match was over following Taylor's six. However, he gave credit to Shami for bringing his experience into play, with smart bowling. "Taylor hit him a lot through the mid-wicket region, but unfortunately, he dragged the same shot onto his stumps in the last match. Credit to Shami," he said.
He is the best fast bowler in the world: Akhtar
"Shami is a very clever bowler. He is the find of India and he is the best fast bowler in the world. Whatever situation you put him in, he always excels, whether it's a World Cup or a T20 in New Zealand," added Akhtar.
How did the match pan out?
India got off to a flier and raced to 89 runs. However, Kiwis pulled the plugs after getting three quick wickets. Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer added 46 for the fourth wicket. Manish Pandey (19*) helped India get past 170. In reply, NZ lost their way, but Williamson (95) countered with a superb knock. However, the match was tied, as India won Super Over.
Some records scripted during the match
As for some records in the match: This was India's first-ever T20I series win in New Zealand. Rohit became the fourth Indian opener to surpass 10,000 international runs. Rohit and KL Rahul's 89-run stand for the opening wicket is now the fifth-highest in New Zealand-India T20Is. India's 20/0 are the most runs scored by a chasing side in the Super Over in T20I history.