Mohammed Shami hit a unique century on day 3 of the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The right-arm pacer broke a stubborn stand between Tim Paine and Pat Cummins when he bowled Cummins for 17 with a good length ball that nipped back in and breached the defence of the batsman to hit the top of off stump. The wicket of Cummins was Shami’s 100th in overseas Tests and he entered an elite list of Indian bowlers who have achieved this feat. Shami became the fifth Indian pacer and 10th overall to achieve this milestone, joining other legendary names in the club.
Shami joined Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Javagal Srinath as the other Indian pacers to have taken 100 wickets in overseas Tests. Kapil Dev leads the pack with 215 wickets in 66 Tests followed by Zaheer, who has taken 207 wickets in 54 Tests. Kapil and Zaheer are the only two Indian pacers to have taken over 200 wickets in Tests abroad. Ishant has taken 181 wickets while Srinath took 128 wickets.
However, Shami is the 10th bowler from India overall to reach this milestone. Anil Kumble, considered on one of India’s greatest spinner, leads the overall list with 269 wickets in 69 games. Harbhajan Singh also took 152 wickets in 48 Tests while Bishan Singh Bedi took 129 wickets in 37 games. Ravichandran Ashwin recently entered the 100-wicket club when he picked up three wickets in the Southampton Test against England in 2018 while Bhagwath Chandrasekhar has also taken 100 wickets in just 26 Tests. Shami has the second-best average among the bowlers who have taken 100 wickets with 31.42, just behind Ashwin who has an average of 31.39.
Shami has been effective in the second innings of a match and three out of his four five-wicket hauls have been taken outside of India. His first five-wicket haul was 5/47 in his debut Test against the West Indies in Kolkata and it came during the second innings of West Indies’ batting. In the Sydney Test of 2015, Shami picked up his first five-wicket haul overseas when he picked 5/112. In 2018, Shami’s spell of 5/28 helped India beat South Africa in Johannesburg to secure a consolation win while in the previous match in Perth against Australia, Shami picked up his career-best haul of 6/56.