Mohammed Shami produced a magnificent spell of bowling as he picked up his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests to get India back in the contest on day 4 of the Perth Test against Australia. After a wicketless first session, India roared back in the second session with Shami getting the big wickets of Tim Paine (37), Aaron Finch (25) and Usman Khawaja (72). Bowling the first over after the lunch break, Shami struck with the fifth ball when he got a bouncer to climb up sharply on the Australian skipper and he could only fend it to Kohli at slip. Finch, who had to retire hurt on day 3 after being hit by a bouncer from Shami, looked to get out of the way of a short ball down the leg side but gloved it to Rishabh Pant. In his second over, Shami got a short ball to kick up from the deck and Khawaja’s epic vigil ended.
When Jasprit Bumrah got rid of Pat Cummins with a ball that shot through low, Australia had lost four wickets for six runs. Shami continued to have a great session as he softened up Nathan Lyon first with a bouncer that hit his helmet and delivered the sucker punch with another short ball to have the third-best figures by an Indian pacerin Tests in Australia. This was Shami’s fourth five-wicket haul and his second in Australia. Remarkably, all four five-wicket hauls have he has bowled in the second innings of the match. His first five-wicket haul Down Under was in Sydney in 2015 when he picked up 5/112. India had already conceded a lead and Australia had scored some quick runs as the match ended in a tense draw.
His first career five-wicket haul came in Kolkata in 2013 against West Indies. After being asked to follow-on, Shami blew the Windies away with an exhibition of reverse swing bowling to finish with 5/47 in what was the farewell series for Sachin Tendulkar.
Shami’s crowning glory came in the Johannesburg Test in 2018 against South Africa. On a difficult wicket that aided the pacers with seam and swing, Shami picked up 5/28 as India achieved a consolation win by 63 runs after losing the Cape Town and Centurion Tests. India will be hoping that Shami’s haul gives them a great chance to win the Perth Test and ensure they retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.