Cuttack: Batting great Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday said Mohammed Shami often reminds him of the legendary pacer Malcolm Marshall, thoughts of whom still "wakes him up from deep sleep".
Coming from one of the finest batsmen against genuine fast bowling, the analogy with the West Indies pacer is certainly one of the biggest compliments ever paid to the senior India speedster, who has made the best in the business hop, skip and jump with his pace, swing and bounce through the season.
It was no surprise that Shami finished the year with a very impressive tally of 42 wickets, the best by any bowler in 2019, and Gavaskar did not shy away from praising the 28-year-old.
Asked who is his favourite Indian fast bowler, Gavaskar took Shami's name.
"He reminds me of Malcolm Marshall, who still wakes me up from deep sleep," Gavaskar said while commentating for Star Sports during the third and final One-day International between India and the West Indies at Cuttack.
Gavaskar also credited World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev for revolutionising Indian fast bowling.
Impressed with Shami's skills, former India captain Gavaskar had earlier compared the fast bowler to a leopard.
"When he is running in, when the spider cam actually takes it, it is such a sight. It is almost like a leopard going for a kill," Gavaskar had said.
Skipper Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Pooran struck aggressive half-centuries to power the West Indies to 315 for five in the series-deciding ODI.
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At the end of five days of Test cricket in January 1988, Narendra Hirwani’s incredible display of leg spin bowling in front of a packed Chepauk stadium in (then) Madras, would leave the most successful West Indies Test side of all time on their knees, and a nation in awe of his craft.
Catch the live score and updates from the second ODI of the three-match series between hosts Bangladesh and West Indies on our blog.
On the last day of the Sydney Test, Paine tried to unsettle Ravichandran Ashwin by sledging the Indian spinner and Gavaskar promptly termed it "unbefitting of national team captain" whose days as the man in charge seemed to be "numbered".