India Test captain lauds the quick after his eight-wicket match haul
Shami’s five-for was instrumental in India bowling out South Africa for 197 in the first innings, especially when they didn’t have the services of Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah was off the field for close to two hours after twisting his ankle. Then he had to spend the same amount of time on the field before he was allowed to bowl again.
In the second dig too Shami chipped in with 3 for 63, which included Aiden Markram’s wicket in the second over of the innings.
“Very, very happy for him to get 200 wickets and have an impactful performance,” Kohli said of Shami at the post-match presentation. “He is absolutely world-class talent. For me, he’s in the best three seamers in the world at the moment. His strong wrist, his seam position and his ability to hit a length consistently…”
Talking about the overall pace attack, Kohli said: “Just the way these guys bowl together, it’s just a hallmark of our team getting a result from that position, not just in this game but also in the last two-three years.”
In a rain-affected Test, India’s performance with the bat on the first day proved to be decisive in the end. Kohli credit his openers for that.
“The discipline that the batters showed… Winning the toss, batting first overseas is a tough challenge,” he said. “Credit to Mayank and KL for the way they set it up.
“We knew we were in pole position with anything over 300-320. We have a lot of belief in our bowling unit and knew the bowlers will get the job done.”
This is India’s first Test win in Centurion. Now, they will be eyeing their first Test series win in South Africa. The next match will be played in Johannesburg, where India had won on their last tour.
“It’s a top start for us, Kohli said. “We have to understand one day was washed out. That shows how well we played. It’s always a difficult place to play against South Africa. We got so much confidence out of Johannesburg last time. It’s a ground we love playing at.”