India will think of setting New Zealand a target only after getting enough “back-up runs” on the final day of the ICC World Test Championship final, senior pacer Mohammed Shami said on Tuesday, hinting that the team would adopt a safety first approach.
India were 64/2 at stumps on the fifth day with a 32-run lead. Skipper Virat Kohli and the seasoned Cheteshwar Pujara were at the crease.
“We have lost a lot of time due to rain. So there is no discussion as such on a total. We have just started our second innings and we need to put runs on the board,” Shami, who got four wickets in New Zealand’s first innings, said at the press conference after the fifth day’s play.
“We have to score as many as possible and then see how much time is left to put them in and decide accordingly. In conditions like England, anything can happen but we simply can’t have a pre-plan in mind that we can get them out in these many overs. You need time to get 10 wickets and some solid plans in place. But first, we need to have enough back-up runs,” said Shami.
The right-arm quick was the pick of the Indian bowlers on the fifth day and he was pleased that the plans that he wanted to execute came off nicely.
“Obviously as you play the Test match, you can’t stick to one plan for five days. You need to be flexible and set up lines as per the track. We needed to bowl those tight lines which benefits the team in order to restrict New Zealand to as less as possible. So the pressure created momentum and we got the wickets,” Shami added.
The 30-year-old was happy he could perform his role in an effective manner.
“Whenever I have been entrusted with responsibility, I have put in my whole-hearted effort. Whatever be the situation, I know what the captain wants and then I follow his instructions. I have always been an attacking bowler who goes for wickets.”
So did he have any regrets in missing out on a five-for?
“When you play for India, you have no such regrets. You can’t think about personal milestones,” he said.
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