Cricket-India's Shami credits immense hard work for 200-wicket milestone

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First Test - South Africa v India
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(Reuters) - India paceman Mohammed Shami said on Tuesday that years of toil had finally paid off as he became only the fifth fast bowler from the country to pick up 200 wickets in test cricket.

The 31-year-old reached the landmark against South Africa on the third day of the first test at Centurion Park, finishing with figures of 5-44 as the visitors moved into a commanding position with a 146-run lead at stumps.

"While coming through the ranks, no bowler thinks about this (getting 200 wickets). They just dream of playing for India. It's all about hard work... when you put in the work, results follow," Shami told reporters.

"My father deserves a lot of credit... I come from a village where we had no cricketing facilities. I used to travel 30km for practice, but my family always believed in me."

Shami, playing his 55th test, joins Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Javagal Srinath in the 200-wicket club for India in the game's longest format.

Shami added that he had put in tremendous work to hone his skills, particularly his upright seam position that had the Proteas batsmen in a tangle on Tuesday.

"A lot of people talk about my ability to keep the seam upright. But people don't know the amount of work that has gone into that... as a seam bowler, you have to keep working on your skills," he said.

"Today, it was all about assessing the conditions and hitting the right areas. I wasn't worried too much about the pace, I was just focused on my length."

After bowling South Africa out for 197, India were 16-1 in their second innings at the close of play.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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