Shamsi expects England to come back hard against SA in the second ODI
Proteas left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi expects England to come back hard in Friday’s second ODI at Kingsmead.
Shamsi‚ whose role was a peripheral one for the national team in recent years while Imran Tahir had the permanent spinning position on lockdown‚ ripped the heart out of England’s middle-order.
His wickets prevented England from getting a serious foothold on proceedings and a slow Kingsmead surface may play to his advantage.
The Dolphins and the Knights played a domestic limited overs game at Kingsmead last week and the surface dished up what was a sub-continental one where the spinners dominated a low scoring game.
“Every time you step onto the field‚ you want to win a game and for the Friday fixture‚ it’s no different.
"The guys are still out there training‚ so the hunger is there and it’s always been there.
"Of course we’d like to close out the series‚ but England will be coming hard to bounce back‚” Shamsi said.
“They are world champions and they’ve got some unbelievable players in their squad.
"There’s this chatter about them resting players but we also have rested players but that doesn’t really matter.
"Ultimately‚ it’s South Africa against England and they are the world champions.”
The depth of England’s batting‚ something that came to the fore on Tuesday after a lower-order partnership between Chris Woakes and Joe Denly pulled England from the mire‚ remains a concern for Shamsi.
“If you look at their batting line-up‚ and I’m a bowler‚ it’s a class unit and they can bat until number 10. You’re playing against the best team in the world and that’s it.
"It was quite exciting to produce what we did against them in Cape Town and it’s even nicer that we get another opportunity to do so again‚” Shamsi said.
With Tahir no longer part of the 50-over mix‚ Shamsi now has a golden opportunity to firmly come out of the shadows with his bowling and not his wicket celebrations.
It’s worth noting that in the Momentum One-Day Cup game on Friday between the Titans and the Lions‚ Shamsi was clouted to all corners of SuperSport Park by the Lions.
He made the step up and still trusted the very same abilities that prevented England from breaking the shackles.
It’s a new era for South Africa and Shamsi feels like he’s making a new start.
“It felt like I was starting my career in Cape Town. I want to make an impact for the team and I want to help the team win matches whenever and wherever I play.
"In that sense‚ it felt like I was starting out my career. In a weird way‚ I’m even excited to make mistakes on the way because I have time to implement on them‚” Shamsi said.
“In the past‚ I’d play an odd game here and there. When I made mistakes‚ it would be nearly three months before I’d fix them so there’s no consistency‚ but it was nice to get off to a good start. There’ll be mistakes‚ but it feels like a start.”
The new era also has a new leader in Quinton de Kock and he seems like a leader that Shamsi will follow everywhere.
“Quinny is very different. He doesn’t speak much. He’s a simple guy of very few words but Quinny and I started together.
"We have that understanding but with the technicalities and strategies of the game‚ those will come with time and mistakes will be made‚” Shamsi said.
“I learnt a number of good things on the field and I changed my approach on the field.
"With Faf being captain‚ I had a certain template but with a different captain‚ you get different information.
"Nothing much has changed though because he always was a keeper.
"Our communication was always there‚ but he’s a man of a few words. When he speaks‚ he’s clear on the instructions.”