Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami made their Test debuts in the same match vs West Indies in Kolkata on November 6, 2013. Since then, while Shami has grown into an inseparable cog in India’s fast bowling attack, Rohit until recently was not able to prove his Test credentials in spite of being considered a modern white-ball great. But the Mumbai batsman gave enough glimpse of his potential during his first 2 innings as a Test opener by scoring 176 and 127 to set up India’s mammoth 203-run victory over South Africa in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

While the post-match talk was mostly centered around Rohit due to his obvious achievements, the new opener didn’t forget his old mate Shami and what makes him crucial to India’s recent success in Tests. Rohit also admitted to having a plan of using the Indian fast bowlers (Shami and Ishant Sharma) in short bursts as the team wasn’t sure if the pitch would continue to assist the spinners throughout the last day.

“It was pretty humid and hot out there and I thought more than the spinners, the fast bowlers actually looked very dangerous on that particular pitch. So we wanted Shami and Ishant to be fresh in case there might not be any help for the spinners as the game progressed which we saw happening later. So we wanted our fast bowlers to be fresh and we decided we will try and make them bowl in short spells of 2 or 3 overs. And we all know when Shami is fresh what he can do along with some biryani,” said Rohit.

Further heaping praise on Shami, Rohit credited him for having ‘mastered bowling with the old ball’ while adding that the bowler makes it look easy when it’s not so.

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