Proteas spin bowler Tabraiz Shamsi says regular game time is behind his superb form in white-ball cricket of late.
Ranked first on the ICC’s T20 bowlers’ list, Shamsi showed why he is the world’s best in this format with a Man of the Match 4/27 in the first of three T20s on Monday, to help SA to a 33-run win.
With the next match played tomorrow night, Shamsi, who has spent years in the shadow of now-retired Imran Tahir, says: “It’s the first time I got regular game time, normally one game now and three months later – for obvious reasons, no dispute why it was like that.
“With regular game time you get to learn quicker from your mistakes and you get to implement the good stuff a lot more and try and grow as a player.
“We all know form is temporary and you have to keep on working hard.
“There will be a patch where things maybe don’t go for me, but it’s about staying positive and still through those patches trying to contribute. If it’s not with the ball, it’s in other ways...”
One of the ways Shamsi, 31, is contributing to the team is with his aggression.
Of his approach to the game, he adds: “I used to be a seam bowler, but was told I wasn’t fast enough so I became a spinner.
“I think that’s where the aggression comes from – watching Andre Nel, Dale Steyn and Allan Donald. It’s definitely part of my game.
“It’s a double-edged sword, sometimes if it doesn’t work for you, you can travel as well, but it can also disrupt the batsman – whatever it takes to help the team win games.
“I am one of the guys in the team that is in charge of having a presence on the field and making sure that we never back down from any opponent and that’s the way we play our cricket.
“I’m glad that the team as a whole is playing like that.”