Shamsi not feeling the pressure for '2nd debut'

Tabraiz Shamsi (Getty Images)
Tabraiz Shamsi (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Proteas spinner Tabraiz Shamsi says he'll feel no added pressure if he's selected for this week's first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

The 28-year-old has only made one Test appearance to date - in November 2016 against Australia in Adelaide - where he picked up two wickets.

This past weekend, Shamsi made a massive statement in the Proteas' warm-up match, where he took 5-45 against a Sri Lanka Board XI team.

"It was nice to get some overs under the belt, especially because I've never been to Sri Lanka before. So it was nice to bowl in these conditions and get a feel of the wickets and pitches," Shamsi told the media on Monday in Galle.

In Sri Lanka, where the pitches are expected to assist spinners more, the Proteas have opted for three spinners in their squad: Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj and uncapped leg-spinner Shaun von Berg.

The side also has four top pace options in Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi.

READ: Gibson urges fast bowlers to 'suck it up' in Sri Lanka

Proteas coach Ottis Gibson admitted that he would likely opt for three pacemen and two spinners for Thursday's first Test.

Shamsi believes that if he gets the opportunity to don the whites, it will be like making his debut all over again.

"I've played just the one Test and it was such a long time ago that it will definitely feel like my debut again if I'm chosen here. Just generally as well, normally we don't play two spinners, but it's according to the conditions. There's no guarantee that I will play," said Shamsi.

"But if I get an opportunity I will do my best. Whoever does play, I have full confidence whoever does make up the bowling attack will do a great job."

The Proteas' 'go-to' spinner, Maharaj, has been struggling with an illness and was unable to take the field in their warm-up match.

Shamsi admits that there will be no pressure whatsoever on performing well this week.

"Keshav's a great bowler as well. He has done so well since he has come into the team," said Shamsi.

"If anything, it makes things easier for me, because he has got more experience than I do. If I do get the opportunity, I am just looking to do what I can do. There's no pressure, we have a great bowling attack, it doesn't rely on one person."

The first of two Tests gets under way on Thursday at 06:30 SA time.

Proteas Test squad:

Faf du Plessis (Titans, captain), Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Temba Bavuma (Cape Cobras), Quinton de Kock (Titans), Theunis de Bruyn (Titans), Dean Elgar (Titans), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), Lungisani Ngidi (Titans), Vernon Philander (Cape Cobras), Kagiso Rabada (Highveld Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Dale Steyn (Titans), Shaun von Berg (Titans)

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