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Ken Borland

Shamsi gives prim & proper answer of ‘trying to do my best every game’ 0

Posted on November 16, 2022 by Ken

Proteas wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi gave the prim and proper answer of “trying to do my best every game” when asked on Monday what his approach to South Africa’s T20 series against India will be, but trying to get one over the powerful home batting line-up is clearly also in the back of his mind.

Not just because the Proteas will play India again in Group II at the T20 World Cup in Australia next month, but also to prove to the world’s biggest cricket market that he truly is one of the world’s best white-ball spinners.

Compared to his career stats – 69 wickets in 56 T20 Internationals, economy 7.11, strike-rate 17.70, average 21.02 – Shamsi’s record in India is clearly inferior: In 6 matches he has taken just three wickets at an average of 48, his economy is 8.47 and his strike-rate 34.

“I’m not sure what conditions will be like, but I will prepare exactly the same as my previous times there,” Shamsi said in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. “I was happy with my performance in England.

“But it’s always challenging against India. I won’t be changing much, previously it’s just been a few balls that I haven’t executed properly. Some days you’re just a bit off the mark and the batsmen do well, you get hit for just a couple of sixes here and there.

“The boundary sizes tend to be smaller here in India and the pitches will be different to Australia. But there are always things to work on, and bowling at these Indian batsmen with them being in our group at the World Cup, it’s an opportunity to observe and maybe pick up one or two things to use later on,” Shamsi said.

Wednesday’s match will only be the third T20 International to have been played at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. The first one was a game shortened to eight overs against New Zealand in 2017, which India won with a total of 67/5. In 2019, India posted 170/7 against the West Indies and lost by eight wickets with nine balls to spare.

The stadium doubles as a football field, so there are bound to be some short boundaries.

But Shamsi said this current Proteas team are unfazed by challenges these days, having come through so much together.

“The mood is really good in the camp, we’re excited to be back together as a group and it’s always a nice challenge against India. This team is all about overcoming challenges.

“Our expectations are the same, but obviously with the World Cup coming up, we will keep one eye on the future as well. Preparing for that is our first priority.

“So the captain and coach might want to play around a bit with the team, and that’s okay,” Shamsi said.

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