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Updated January 4th, 2024 at 09:31 IST

'I realised what I missed... Did that and got reward': Siraj after his solid bowling spell vs SA

Mohammed Siraj is happy to have begun 2024 with career-best Test cricket statistics, but following the first day of the second Test, the Indian bowler was even more happy with himself for having learned from his mistakes in the series opener against South Africa.

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj | Image:AP
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Mohammed Siraj is delighted to have started the 2024 with career-best figures in Test cricket but after day one of the second Test, the India pacer was more pleased about rectifying the mistakes he committed during the series opener against South Africa.

Siraj had figures of 2/91 in South Africa’s only innings in the opening Test but returned with six for 15 from nine overs to bundle out the hosts for 55 in first innings as 23 wickets fell on day one.

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Did he think he will come out to bowl twice in a day? “Did you think so?” he chuckled with a counter question.

“We didn’t think also. We had put our feet up but this is cricket. You see both good and bad things,” he added philosophically.

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But he was visibly happy after having one of his best days in his 23 Test career.

“You want the New Year to go well,” the affable Hyderabadi said with satisfaction written all over his face.

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“I realised what I missed in the last game and wanted to compensate and I executed my plans accordingly. I wanted to hit one area consistently and I did that and got reward for it. Wicket looks quite similar to Centurion,” Siraj said at the end of the day’s play.

So what did he do different that he didn’t in the last game? “We (him and Jasprit Bumrah) bowled in partnerships and bowled many maidens unlike last Test match. Bowling so many maidens did create pressure.” When one gets a track as spicy as Newlands, a fast bowler’s excited mind can get cluttered and that’s what one needs to control, feels Siraj.

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“On these wickets, where ball is doing so much, often bowlers tend to think, ‘let me try and bowl an outswinger darting from leg to off or get one to bend back from angle but one should just stick to one line.

"If you hit areas, wickets will come automatically, if you try many things, you yourself can get confused,” he observed.

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He thanked Jasprit Bumrah and KL Rahul for constant communication.

“When senior bowler is operating and there is wicketkeeper who advises you on what is the correct length, job becomes easier as there is lot of communication. When you are hit for 4-5 boundaries, you know what length to switch to.” So what’s an ideal score that can be chased? “I can't predict what will happen on second day. We have to get them out for as less as possible and we don’t need to think too far as we are still 40 runs ahead and we have to see how many we can get before they take lead,” he signed off.

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Published January 4th, 2024 at 09:31 IST

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