New Proteas team always seems to get over the line: Shamsi

North Sound, Jun 24 (PTI) South Africa have been carrying the unwanted tag of “chokers” for long and wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi is delighted that the “new Proteas” have managed to get over the line in close finishes at the ongoing T20 World Cup.

Aiden Markram and his men are unbeaten in the tournament so far even as the margin of victories has been small in all games.

Navigating through some tense encounters, they have managed to end up on the right side of results. The margin of victories include 1 run (Nepal), 4 runs (Bangladesh) and 7 runs (England).

On Sunday too, the South Africans kept their composure to beat the hosts West Indies by three wickets and qualify for the semifinals.

“Obviously most of the games have been a lot closer than we would have personally liked, but the amazing thing is that this new Proteas team always seems to get over the line,” Shamsi said at the post-match conference.

“We’ve been put under huge pressure basically in every single game that we’ve played and the boys have managed to find a way to win no matter what the situation is, no matter how close the game is. So that’s really pleasing for us as a unit, and it’s sort of like in a funny way we’re looking forward to it.” Shamsi had endured a bad outing against USA which led to his criticism. But the 34-year-old was one of the architects of South Africa’s win over West Indies, claiming figures of 3/27.

“It’s a double-edged sword right – the previous game I bowled later in the innings and I went for 50 and there was certain critics coming out from the wood works, speaking about pressure and how I can’t handle pressure and so to speak – I think in a quarterfinal match I hope that was enough pressure for me to respond to.” Shamsi is aware that there will be days when he will not be at his best.

“It’s just a little bit ridiculous when it’s ex-players – when they’re on the field they did the same things now we’re trying our best so what that’s part of the game right we got to go out there and do our job.

“It doesn’t really matter where I’m asked to bowl, whether it’s early on in the innings or at the back end. There’s a specific job that I’ve got to do. And we’ve all played enough cricket to understand that sometimes it will work, on other days it wouldn’t, and somebody else will cover for you, and vice versa.

“That’s the mentality that we have within the squad. Whoever’s day it is needs to take extra load and cover up for someone that’s maybe not having a good game and that’s perfectly normal, that’s cricket.” Having played in the Caribbean Premier League, Shamsi gathered an insight to how the West Indies players function and that helped the spinner to plot their downfall in what was a virtual quarterfinal.

“Fortunately, I’ve been able to play CPL for the last five or six years. And one thing with the West Indian boys, you don’t have to guess what their intent is going to be. So, it sort of helps you formulate a plan.”

Source: PTI News


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