SOUTHAMPTON: India would set New Zealand a target only after getting enough “back-up runs” on the final day of the World Test Championship (WTC) final, senior pacer Mohammed Shami said on Tuesday, hinting that the team would adopt a ‘safety first’ approach.
India were 64 for 2 at stumps on the fifth day with a 32-run lead. Skipper Virat Kohli and 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, India’s man of the day with four wickets, said at the press conference.
“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 pre-plan in mind that we can get them out in this many overs. You need time to get 10 wickets and some solid plans in place. But first, we need to score enough back-up runs,” Shami said, which hinted that Indians won’t mind a draw in current circumstances.
Shami 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 benefit the team in order to restrict New Zealand to as less as possible. So the pressure created momentum and we got wickets.”
A captain’s go-to bowler, the veteran speedster is happy that he has been able to perform his duty in an effective manner.
“Whenever I have been entrusted with a responsibility, I have put in my whole hearted effort. Whatever be 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.”