ANI Photo | ICC CWC 2023: Was not hard to sit out as team was doing well, says Shami after taking five-for in win over NZ

Following his side’s four-wicket win over New Zealand in their ICC Cricket World Cup match on Sunday, Indian pacer Mohammed Shami said one has to get his confidence up early after sitting out of the playing eleven for a while and his match-winning performance did his belief and world of good.
He added, however, that it was not too hard for him to wait on the sidelines for an opportunity to get into the playing eleven as the team fared phenomenally well with the combination it went with in the previous four matches.
Shami and ‘Chase Master’ Virat Kohli were the biggest stars of India as, riding on their dazzling performances with the ball and the willow, the hosts registered their fifth successive win in the World Cup, thereby taking a giant stride towards sealing a spot in the top-four.
The four-wicket victory over the Kiwis, who had been at the top of the points table going into this clash, saw India leap-frog them to the pole position with 10 points.
The win also saw the ‘Men in Blue’ end its agonising 20-year losing streak to New Zealand at ICC events.
“When you come back after a long time to the XI, it is important to get confidence early. My first game in the (ongoing) World Cup helped me regain that confidence. It’s not too hard (waiting on the sidelines) if your team is doing well. They are your teammates and if they are doing well then you should be supporting them. If it’s in the team’s interest, I am okay with it. The wickets were important as it came against an opponent, which was sitting top of the points table going into this clash,” Shami said at the post-match presentation.
After winning the toss and putting New Zealand into bat, the Men in Blue got off to an ideal start, reducing the Kiwis to 19/2 inside the powerplay.
However, a 159-run stand thereafter between centurion Daryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra helped NZ make a strong comeback.
The hosts hit back with wickets in the latter half of the New Zealand innings, bowling the visitors out for 273 runs in 50 overs.
Shami (5/54) was the pick of the bowlers for India while Kuldeep Yadav (2/73) finished strongly after being taken to the cleaners in the initial overs.
India’s new-ball pair of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj took a wicket apiece.
Chasing 274, India were off to a sensational start, with the opening pair of skipper Rohit Sharma (46 in 40 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes) and Shubhman Gill (26 in 31 balls, with five fours) raising a 71-run stand for the first wicket.
India did lose Shreyas Iyer (33), KL Rahul (27) and Suryakumar Yadav as the innings progressed, but Virat Kohli (95* in 104 balls, with eight fours and two sixes) and Ravindra Jadeja (39* in 44 balls, three fours and a six) guided the hosts to a four-wicket win with two overs to spare.
Lockie Ferguson (2/63) was the pick of the bowlers for NZ while Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Mitchell Santner got a wicket apiece.
Shami was adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ for his sensational five-wicket haul. (ANI)

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