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14.07.2018 10:08
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Twelve hours after his career-best 3 for 36 in his first ODI at home, wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi was named in South Africas Test squad. And he wasnt letting much on.Test cricket is one of my aspirations so if I get an opportunity, I will take it on board and see how it goes, Shamsi told reporters in Port Elizabeth.The next morning, Shamsis dream came true. As one of two uncapped spinners in the squad and the one with international experience, Shamsi is more likely to debut in Australia than Keshav Maharaj, Dolphins left-arm spinner who is also in the squad. His first-class numbers suggest that he could be successful both as a wicket-taker and as a holding bowler if needed.Statistically, Shamsi has managed to combine the roles well. In the 2013-14 season when playing for Kwa-Zulu Natal Inland, Shamsi was the third-highest wicket-taker in the provincial three-day competition. He took 47 wickets at 20.02 and at an economy of 3.20. Last season, his breakthrough summer in franchise cricket, he finished as the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the Sunfoil Series, South Africas first-class competition, with 41 scalps at 19.97 and an economy of 3.29.Shamsis variations caught the eyes of the IPL, the CPL and the South African selectors who included him in a triangular series in the Caribbean in June. There, he played alongside Imran Tahir, who has become a mentor of sorts.Having Immi around is a blessing in disguise for me. Theres a lot I can learn from him, Shamsi said. He is trying to pass on the things he has learned to me, so that I can get it quicker than he did, because to know those things can take a good few years. He is the best guy to have around me. We speak quite a lot, about game plans and field placings, and all kinds of things.Another talking point could be Tahirs underwhelming Test career, which reached its lowest point in Australia. Tahir conceded 260 runs without a wicket in Adelaide and could not properly re-establish himself in the longest format. While South Africas strong pace pack was one of the reasons Tahir struggled to find his place, his own enthusiasm also undid him. He was criticised for trying too hard and not being discerning enough in making use of his repertoire. Shamsi, who also has several variations in his skill-set, may look to learn from the Tahir lesson.Both wristspinners have more in common than ability though, which may be why they get on so well. Tahir and Shamsi have both made names for being expressive on the field, with Tahirs sprint celebrations and Shamsis bus-driver impression becoming YouTube hits. And Shamsi has shown he can go the other way too. He had a fiery exchange with Matthew Wade during the fourth ODI and could have a laugh about afterwards.It (banter) does get me going, Shamsi admitted. There wasnt any fight. We were just discussing where we were going to have dinner and we couldnt come to an agreement. I enjoy that kind of stuff, it gets me going and it gets the team going.A Test series in Australia is certain to require more of that and South Africa may feel they have the earned the right to engage in on-field chatter. Even though Kyle Abbott played down an advantage the ODI series win will give the Test side, South Africas dominance will not go unnoticed but Shamsi confirmed they are wary of being overconfident. Winning and losing is a habit. We are winning now. The guys are confident. The group has a brilliant work ethic but we havent ever felt like weve done the job. Authentic Ben Zobrist Jersey . No. 13-seeded John Isner and No. 21 Philipp Kohlschreiber were among six players who dropped out of the tournament on Tuesday, joining No. 12 seed Tommy Haas and two other players who withdrew on Monday. Authentic Mark Grace Jersey . 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