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Updated December 29th, 2023 at 11:29 IST

‘India missed Mohammed Shami’: Manjrekar reflects on team's tough loss to SA in Boxing Day Test

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes that the Indian Test team missed star seamer Mohammed Shami in their huge loss to South Africa.

Sanjay Manjrekar on Mohammed Shami
Sanjay Manjrekar on Mohammed Shami | Image:AP, BCCI
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South Africa clinched a resounding victory against India in the initial Test match held on December 26-28, triumphing by an innings and 32 runs. India opened the batting and notched 245 runs in their first innings, spearheaded by KL Rahul's impressive 101. In response, South Africa posted a formidable 408 in their first innings, led by Dean Elgar's exceptional 185. India struggled at 131 in their second innings, while Nandre Burger and Marco Jansen of South Africa shone with their bowling performances. Dean Elgar's stellar batting secured him the Player of the Match accolade. The contest took place at the SuperSport Park Cricket Stadium.

3 things you need to know 

  • India lost to South Africa by an innings and 32 runs 
  • Dean Elgar was named Player of the Match in the first Test
  • The Indian Cricket Team didn't perform at its best level

Also Read: McGregor's reaction to picture alongside Ronaldo

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Sanjay Manjrekar believes ‌India missed Mohammed Shami against SA

In the Boxing Day Test match against South Africa in Centurion, Sanjay Manjrekar stated that he thought Team India sensed Mohammed Shami's absence.

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India lost the Test match by an innings and 32 runs, which was their worst Test defeat on South African soil to date. The Proteas scored 408 runs in the first innings, however, India only managed totals of 245 and 131.

Manjrekar pointed out that Mohammed Shami's addition may have greatly bolstered the Men in Blue's bowling arsenal, especially considering Centurion's seam-friendly conditions. Manjrekar stated that the presence of the veteran bowler may have had a significant impact on how India performed in the game. According to ESPNCricinfo, Manjrekar said: 

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"India missed Mohammed Shami. Because you are talking about getting the most out of the pitch by hitting the pitch and not looking for movement in the air. What does Shami do best? He gets movement on Indian pitches, where there is hardly any. So, he would have been a handful," 

Also Read: SA beat India by an innings & 32 runs in 1st Test

After playing on South African wickets, the former cricket player turned pundit stated that he believed the Indian bowlers would have now pinpointed particular areas they needed to focus on in order to be successful. He said the experience from the Boxing Day Test against South Africa will provide the bowlers with valuable knowledge that would help them improve their tactics and adjust to the circumstances more skillfully in subsequent games. He added: 

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“The main takeaway, apart from getting a few more runs on the board, is that you got to bowl differently, and the Indian seamers, the quality bowlers that we have, have realised that now.”

This year, Mohammed Shami has been a notable performer with the ball for India. The squad, however, suffered a setback when he was ruled out of the current two-match Test series against South Africa owing to an ankle injury. This absence has left a hole in the Indian bowling squad, which has influenced their strategy and performance in the series.

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Published December 29th, 2023 at 10:54 IST

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