Tabraiz Shamsi vows to perform at a high level at the World Cup if he is picked.
The Proteas spinner showed his class in Sri Lanka. He showed intent in the Test series when given the opportunity, taking four wickets in the Galle Test. He continued this form in the ODIs, taking six wickets in the series. He also took two wickets in the one-off T20I.
Imran Tahir has been the Proteas’ go-to spinner in ODIs, but Shamsi has made it his mission to be selected in the World Cup squad for the tournament in England and Wales in 2019.
‘I feel sad that I missed out on the Champions Trophy because I’ve never been to an ICC event before,’ Shamsi told ESPNcricinfo.
‘My ambition is to put in consistent performances and go to the World Cup and do some damage in England.
‘I don’t want to just participate, I want to be somebody who makes a big difference in a big game and win it for South Africa. I firmly believe I will do something special at the World Cup if I get picked.’
Domestically, the 28-year-old has excelled in the limited-overs formats. He was the highest wicket-taker in the One-Day Cup and the T20 Challenge in the 2017-18 season. This won him the One-Day Cup Player of the Year and T20 Challenge Player of the Year accolades at the Cricket South Africa Awards.
‘It was very pleasing for me, personally. It was nice to see that I did well in conditions that didn’t suit my style of bowling,’ he said. ‘The World Cup is coming up in England next year and the pitches don’t really spin much there as well.
‘Being the top wicket-taker [in the domestic competitions] has given me so much confidence.’
The leg-spinner admits that despite his success, he is still consistently adding to his arsenal to make him a more lethal bowler.
‘In addition to the conventional leggie, wrong’un and the slider, I work at changing my angles in the crease and changing my lines smartly,’ he said. ‘Those are also variations. Switching pace from slower to quicker is also part of the learning process.’
Photo: Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images