Shamsi: feels like my de­but


The Citizen (KZN) - - Front Page - Ken Bor­land

Im­ran Tahir’s exit has opened the door for the Ti­tans spin­ner to nail down a place.

Tabraiz Shamsi has waited a long time to emerge from the shadow of Im­ran Tahir and en­joy a reg­u­lar place in South Africa’s ODI side, but the wait has not been a drain on the wrist-spin­ner’s en­thu­si­asm, with the 29-year-old say­ing the first match against Eng­land at New­lands this week felt like the start of his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer all over again.

The first ODI in Cape Town was just Shamsi’s 18th match since mak­ing his de­but in June 2016 and in that time he has only played three suc­ces­sive matches once. But with Tahir now re­tired from 50-over cricket, Shamsi cel­e­brated with a match-defin­ing per­for­mance of 3/38 in 10 overs as South Africa be­gan the three­match se­ries with a seven-wicket win. The sec­ond match is at Kingsmead in Dur­ban to­day and con­di­tions could well suit Shamsi once again.

“I’ve been in­volved with the team for a num­ber of years but it was al­ways just the odd game here and there. So this feels like a new chap­ter, it felt like I was start­ing my ca­reer again in Cape Town. When­ever I play I want to make an im­pact, but I’m even ex­cited to make mis­takes now be­cause I have time to im­ple­ment what­ever changes I need to make, pre­vi­ously I’d only be play­ing again in three months’ time.

“So it feels like the be­gin­ning again and it should be in­ter­est­ing here in Dur­ban as well be­cause the pitch looks a lit­tle dry. But there’s al­ways ex­tra bounce at Kingsmead and I al­ways en­joy that. But Eng­land won the World Cup so they are not a bad side and I’ll just try and do my best what­ever the pitch. Cape Town is now gone and I will be judged again on my next per­for­mance,” Shamsi said in Dur­ban yes­ter­day.

Eng­land got off to a fly­ing start in the first ODI, Ja­son Roy and Jonny Bairstow tak­ing them to 51 with­out loss in the first nine overs, but it was the slow left-arm spin of Jon-Jon Smuts that initially set them back as the debu­tant made the break­through by re­mov­ing a flu­ent Roy and bowled his first three overs for just seven runs.

“Jon-Jon is an all-rounder, he’s not a bits-and-pieces player, he’s a lot bet­ter than that. He doesn’t get given enough credit,” Shamsi said in praise of his new spin part­ner.

The im­pres­sive vic­tory also en­sured Quin­ton de Kock’s reign as the of­fi­cial new one-day cap­tain was off to a great start as well, not least of all be­cause the skip­per stroked a sub­lime cen­tury him­self.

“Quinny is a very dif­fer­ent cap­tain, he doesn’t speak much, he’s a sim­ple guy of few words. But when he speaks the mes­sage is clear. Our re­la­tion­ship is just be­gin­ning and the field plac­ings and strat­egy will come.”

Pic­ture: Back­pagepix

NEW LEASE. Proteas spin­ner Tabraiz Shamsi says he feels like it’s his de­but again as he pre­pares for the sec­ond ODI against Eng­land in Dur­ban to­day.

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