Bowlers like me “spoil the party” for batsmen in T20s: Tabraiz Shamsi
Tabraiz Shamsi took 1/19 in Mohali. (AFP Image)

South Africa’s left-arm wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi feels that T20 is a batsman’s game in which bowlers like him “spoil the party”. Shamsi, 29, returned figures of 1/19 in three overs during the second T20I in Mohali and is now looking forward to drawing the series level at the Chinnaswamy Stadium which used to be his “home ground” until a couple of seasons back, when he used to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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“I feel it puts all the more pressure on the batsman to go out there and do what people want to see. So as bowlers, we are just there to spoil the party and make sure that we execute our plans well,” Shamsi, who has played 17 ODIs and 15 T20 Internationals for the Proteas, told PTI in an interview.

“Chinnaswamy is a small stadium and I mean it’s a T20 series, so people obviously are coming there to see batsmen hit fours and sixes. They are not there to see you bowl a maiden over and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

Shamsi’s stint at RCB has helped him grow as a cricketer with the likes of Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle offering him useful tips.

“Definitely, it helps when you are around speaking to world-class players like Virat, Gayle and Shane Watson. The world of cricket is shrinking in the sense that everyone is ready to share knowledge,” he said. “You will find senior South African fast bowlers imparting knowledge to Indian fast bowlers and vice-versa. Being familiar with surroundings while playing for RCB will certainly help.”

Over the years, South Africa had Imran Tahir at their disposal but with the legspinner not around, Shamsi has a golden opportunity to lay a strong case for himself and cement a place as his team’s premier wristspinner.

“I don’t see this as an additional responsibility. When Immy was there in the team, my job was to do what’s best for the team and obviously with him not being there, I am the only wrist spinner in the team. But I have not shied away from challenges and India is another one of those,” he said.

“Being a legspinner myself, I know guys tend to help each other out as it’s a small club and we know how tough our art is. I found spending a lot of time with Tahir but I have found all the leg-spinners in the other teams easy-going.”

In terms of idols, Shamsi draws inspiration from Australia chinaman bowler Brad Hogg.

“Hogg, I used to watch his bowling a lot during my growing up years. He was the only left-arm wrist spinner playing the game then. But if you see knowledge is everywhere and you just have to be open-minded and to be able to pick things that works for you and leave things that don’t work for you,” Shamsi said.