We want to finish Australia innings early on day 2, says Shami

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Melbourne, Dec 26: Lauding his fellow bowlers for executing the plans well today, Indian pacer Mohammed Shami said the tourists would now aim to send Australia packing in the first session tomorrow in the ongoing third Test here.

Day 1 Scorecard; Report

India had Australia in rare discomfort, reducing them to 259 for five at the end of the first day today. "Throughout the series, our intention has been to bowl to a plan, to bowl line and length," said Shami here.

Shami (right, giving high fives) celebrates with team-mates after dismissing Shaun Marsh

"But plans don't always work out. Sometimes it isn't the bowlers' day, so line and length goes awry. Sometimes you don't get wickets or give away runs even when you bowl well. The focus today was on line and length, and I am glad that today we did that." (Who is KL Rahul?)

Shami had a poor start to the day but recovered well enough to take two for 55 and countered Steve Smith's half-century to help India restrict Australia. R Ashwin took 1/60 and Umesh Yadav took 2/69 to support Shami. Ishant Sharma went wicket-less with figures of 0/54.

"My effort was to focus on line and length in the morning," said Shami. "If a bowler can achieve that then there is nothing difficult for him. I didn't focus on pace because the conditions weren't right and I only do that when I get help from the pitch. Otherwise I focus on line and length."

'No question on my fitness'

"It is great if one end is held tight, then you can attack from the other end. Ashwin did that very well today and I was able to attack from the other end. We have to bowl as a unit. Ishant was unlucky but he bowled really well. He has taken wickets earlier in the series so it's not like he isn't in form or is bowling badly. He is bowling well and we have to support each other as an attack," he added.

Towards the end of the day, Shami went off the field for a bit but returned to bowl the last over and denied any fitness concerns.

"There is no question on my fitness. Niggles keep happening on the field all the time. There is no problem as such. I just strained my left thigh and went out to avoid any injury. I stretched and came back to bowl the last over. I am fine now and will be bowling tomorrow," he said.

"We will come out tomorrow to bowl Australia out early. If we can finish their innings in the morning session, then that will be good for us," he signed off.

PTI

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