Ten questions for the world’s number one T20 bowler.
SPORTS writer Zaahier Adfams spoke to Proteas World No.1 bowler Tabraiz Shamsi ahead of the T20 World Cup in the UAE about how things are shaping up ahead of the tournament..
Zaahier Adams: 1. Do you ever wake up in the morning and just pinch yourself that you are the No 1 T20 bowler in the world?
Tabraiz Shamsi: The guys around me make my job easier to be honest. I know I have a certain role to play. I have a job to do in the team. But the other guys are brilliant as well. You don’t just rock up and do well. You need the help of other guys around you.
Zaahier Adams: 2. How exciting is it to be part of a generation of spinners that is actually appreciated in South Africa?
Tabraiz Shamsi: It’s amazing! The coaches are picking the team according to what they see in front of them and not just what we’ve seen in the past, not what the mould of a South African team should be.
Zaahier Adams: 3. You have always spoken very highly of Imran Tahir. How do you feel about him being left out of the T20 World Cup squad and would you have liked to bowl one last time with him in Dubai?
Tabraiz Shamsi: I actually don’t know what to say about that because I’m not somebody who gets involved in those kinds of chats and I’m not really sure what happened.
Zaahier Adams: 4. But you would like to bowl with him though?
Tabraiz Shamsi: Well, there are always opportunities around the world. (Laughs)
Zaahier Adams: 5. That’s the best googly you have bowled all summer …
Tabraiz Shamsi: (Laughs) We never know where the road might take us.
Zaahier Adams: 6. Having been in the UAE for the IPL, what can we expect from the surfaces?
Tabraiz Shamsi: I don’t know if they’ve been keeping certain pitches fresh for the World Cup, but they are on the slower side. It will be a challenge for the batters.
Zaahier Adams: 7. If you had to choose, which Marvel superhero would you be?
Tabraiz Shamsi: I’m going sound a bit dumb … I don’t even know if Superman is a Marvel character, but I have been fascinated with Superman for a long time. Being able to fly and then travel quickly is something that I would enjoy.
Zaahier Adams: 8. What’s it like to bowl against the supermen of the West Indies such as André ‘Dre Russ’ Russell and Chris ‘Universe Boss’ Gayle?
Tabraiz Shamsi: Look, it’s very challenging, the power that they possess. But for me, it sort of pumps me up. I’ve been somebody that’s always wanted to take the big wickets. I think it brings the best out of me.
Zaahier Adams: 9. The Proteas’ first game at the T20 World Cup is against Australia. Is everything geared towards that opening game at the moment?
Tabraiz Shamsi: When we play against Australia nobody needs to be told anything. Everyone sort of knows what they have to do. Everybody will be up for that game.
Zaahier Adams: 10. Finally, what is your message to the people back home? What can they expect from this Proteas team at the T20 World Cup?
Tabraiz Shamsi: I’d just like to tell them and remind them that this is a team that has been locked up in a hotel room for six or seven days, just so we can go out there and try our best and bring some happiness to the people back home. We’ve been doing a lot of sweating for this team, for the people back home, and we’re going to definitely try and make everyone proud.