Mumbai, Nov 15: While the world swears by variations in bowling to do the trick, India pacer Mohammed Shami still believes in pitching it up and getting wickets with the new ball as he came up with a brilliant 7-57 to help India beat New Zealand and storm into the final of the ICC men’s ODI World Cup on Wednesday.

On a Wankhede pitch that was slow, dry and conducive for batting despite providing seam and swing early and sharp turn later, Shami provided India early breakthrough by claiming both the openers.



Player of the Match Shami, who came into the playing XI after Hardik Pandya got injured in India’s fourth match against Bangladesh, then came back to break the 163-run partnership between Kane Williamson (69) and Daryl Mitchell (134) to claim two wickets in an over to help India fight back.


“I was waiting for my chances. I didn’t play a lot of white-ball cricket. My return started against New Zealand [in Dharamsala]. We talk a lot of variations, but I still believe in pitching it up and getting wickets with the new ball,” Shami said in the post-match press conference on Wednesday.

Shami is now the highest wicket-taker in this World Cup with 23 wickets in six just matches, overtaking Adam Zampa of Australia at the top.

Shami’s third five-wicket haul in this tournament helped India reach the World Cup final after failing to cross the semis hurdle in the 2015 and 2019 editions.

“It feels amazing [this kind of performance]. Last two World Cups, we lost [in the semifinals]. Who knows when or if we’ll get a chance, so we wanted to do everything for this, one chance we didn’t want to let go,” he added.

He said though the wicket was good for batting, it also helped the bowlers as the usual dew was not there.

“The wicket was very good, lots of runs were scored in the afternoon. There was some fear of dew, the grass had been shaved off from the wicket. If dew was there, it skids on and there’s a chance runs could’ve been made,” he added.