Cape Town - Proteas fast bowling folk hero Fanie de Villiers says Mohammed Shami is currently India's best fast bowler - and would be able to command a place in the highly-rated Proteas attack.
The former paceman believes that the line that Shami bowls makes him one of the best fast bowlers in the world right now.
De Villiers is quoted by the Times of India website as saying: "Shami is a good
bowler. He could play for South Africa and fit into their pace attack
"He has a beautiful out-swinger, runs in hard, bowls at 140s, and
most importantly, he consistently bowls that line to first slip.
"He bowls the line Glenn McGrath did, Shaun Pollock did, Ian Botham
did, Dale Steyn does, and so, he is India s best Test bowler."
De Villiers opined that Shami's extra pace makes him more threatening than someone like Hardik Pandya who bowls a similar line.
De Villiers went on to say: "When you are bowling in South Africa, it is important to
have that away-swinging line. Shami has that. Hardik Pandya has that
too, but he doesn't have too much pace. Until he gets that pace he will
not be a big wicket-taker.
"He will fit into India s overseas plans very well though, because he
bowls that away-swinging line. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also has that, but he
didn't play in Centurion."
The Proteas legend questioned the India team selection for the second
Test, he felt it was a big mistake to leave out Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
He said: "I am genuinely surprised that Kumar didn't play. He should be playing all overseas Test matches for India.
"He is someone who can take the ball away from right-handers and then bring it back into left-handers as well."
"That is the future of world cricket on quicker wickets and this has
been the past. Jasprit Bumrah bowled well, but he primarily bowls into
the right-hander, or bowls into the stumps.
"Even on flat wickets like Centurion, Kumar can average 4 wickets per
match. It was a big mistake not picking him," said de Villiers.
"Ishant Sharma bowls into the stumps. Bumrah bowls into the stumps
too. In South Africa, you cannot have two pacers bowling into the
batsmen on a wicket like this.
"Bumrah bowled well in patches yes, but is he going to take 8-9
wickets in a Test? How many times has Ishant picked 8-9 wickets in a
"He cannot, because he bowls an incoming delivery into the bat. Kumar
can do it, Shami can do it, and they have done it before if I am not
mistaken, because they have the away going delivery.
"So, Shami is your future, Kumar is your future, and they bowl quick
enough to be in that category. Even Pandya is your future (if he adds a
South Africa and India play the third and final Test at the Wanderers next week, the Proteas have an unbeatable 2-0 lead.