World Test Championship

India still ‘100 percent’ confident of victory, says bullish Shami

World Test Championship

By Tom Bennett at The Oval

Hit For Six!

India will return to The Oval for the fifth day of the ICC World Test Championship Final with full belief that they can win the Test, according to veteran fast bowler Mohammed Shami.

Video World Test Championship 10 Jun 23
Day 4 Highlights: Advantage Australia as match heads to final day | WTC23 Final
Needing 444 for victory, India ended Day 4 at 164/3 with Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease. Advantage Australia with India needing a record chase to win.

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane will head out to the middle on Sunday with India needing a further 280 runs to win after finishing the fourth day on 164/3.

And should they reach their target of 444 to win the WTC Final it would be the highest-ever fourth-innings run chase to win a game in Test history.

But Shami says that the team are ready to defy the record books.

“One hundred percent everyone believes that tomorrow we will win the match,” he said when talking to the assembled media in the indoor nets of The Oval’s Bedser Stand on Saturday evening.

“We always fight, we perform well around the world. So we believe and we will all come together to win this match.”

Video cwc19 10 Jun 23
Must Watch: Catch-Up Highlights

Shami’s confidence tallies with the sentiment expressed by Shardul Thakur after day three, when the Indian bowler said that the team felt that they were capable of chasing down “450, maybe more”.

And while some of that confidence comes from memories of huge and successful batting efforts in the 2021 Border-Gavaskar series Down Under, when India pulled off a famous victory, Shami isn’t keen to draw parallels at this stage.

“It doesn't matter what happened in Sydney or Brisbane, we are playing here. We have to think about tomorrow and we will win the match," he added.

“I believe that the Test match should go until the fifth day and maybe until the last session. That's the real test. So we have to bat well and they have to bowl well to save themselves.”

Video World Test Championship 11 Jun 23
Ponting on Cameron Green's catch and recent change to soft signals | WTC23 Final | Byju's
Ricky Ponting discusses Cameron Green's catch and the recent change to soft signal decisions | WTC23 Final | Byju's

The two players out in the middle on the resumption will hold the key to India’s hopes.

Rahane earned his recall to the India Test XI thanks partly to stunning form for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, and showed that he is back to his entertaining best with a classy 89 in the first innings.

And his batting partner Kohli went beyond a career tally of 2000 runs in Tests against Australia during his unbeaten 44* on Saturday, becoming only the fifth Indian batter in history to do so.

Shami believes that if the remaining batters play properly then knocking off the 280 runs remaining shouldn’t be out of India’s reach.

“If you bat well, 280 runs is not a big score. So I think you should bat normally as a Test match; focus on playing ball by ball. You should not look at the long target. When you keep small goals and targets, you will get more success.”

And what if Shami is called upon to hit the winning runs in the WTC Final? Is he dreaming of winning the mace for India?

“Yes, I am always ready,” the lower-order batter said with a smile. “Especially in England, there is a need to make partnerships. I think everyone can bat in today's Indian team cricket and, hopefully, we will win tomorrow.”


More News