File photo of Dinesh Karthik

Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik feels India pacer Mohammed Shami’s injury has proved to be a huge setback for the team in the ongoing first Test against South Africa in Centurion. Dean Elgar led South Africa’s charge after India were bowled out for 245 in the first innings. Elgar scored 185 as the Indian pacers struggled to pick wickets at regular intervals, allowing South Africa to take a sizeable lead in the first innings. Shami was ruled out of the two-match series due to an ankle injury.

“The man has grown in stature as a bowler and as a leader of the pack. He is an able lieutenant to Jasprit Bumrah. You can imagine with the upright seam on this kind of pitch. I promise you, he would have definitely gotten a few wickets. The Indian team really misses him,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.

Karthik also suggested that Bumrah and Siraj did not get enough support from debutant pacer Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur, who were pretty expensive in the first innings.

“Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna going for close to 118 runs in their 27 overs. On the other hand, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj going for just 111 in their 31 overs. Siraj was a tad bit expensive, especially in the last spell, they also bowled some brilliant balls. You could see every time they were on, you got the feeling that they could get you a wicket or two. Whereas with Shardul or Prasidh, you had to wait for a batter to make a mistake,” he added.

Elgar missed out on a double century as Shardul Thakur got the better of him before Lunch on Day 3.

For India, KL Rahul had earlier flexed his batting muscles in the visitors’ middle-order as he scored 101 out of their total of 245, hitting 14 fours and four sixes.

India are searching for a first series win in South Africa.

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