Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 4 (ANI): While spinners stole the show for India on the opening day of the fourth Test, pacer Mohammed Siraj too hogged the limelight when he took the all-important wicket of Joe Root in the first session at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday.
Siraj didn’t stop there and went a step ahead to dismiss set batsman Jonny Bairstow against the run of play. The pacer after the game explained how he planned both the dismissals which jolted England’s progress in the match.
“My plan for Root was to set him by bowling outside the off-stump and then bowl one inswinger. And when the ball was going wide of him, I thought my plan is working. Then in the next over I thought of bowling him an inswinger and got him out,” said Siraj during the virtual press conference after the end of the first day’s play.
For Bairstow, Siraj revealed that he actually studied by watching videos of the English batsman getting out on the balls which came in.
“It was my first ball for him (Bairstow). And I had watched many videos of him getting out to inswing so my plan was to bowl a similar length,” said Siraj.
Be it Australia or India, be it Virat Kohli or Ajinkya Rahane, the two cricketers have been a pillar of strength for Siraj and the pacer feels this kind of backing uplifts the morale of a player.
“Captain’s backing is very important as whenever a skipper shows faith in a player it enhances his performance. Whenever a player is backed his performance goes up to another level. It motivates me as a player to perform well for the team,” said Siraj.
“I want to grab all the opportunities that come my way. After my poor performance in ODI and T20I, I want to perform well in Test cricket,” he added.
Spinners Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin spun a web over visitors as England was bundled out for 205 in the first innings. In reply, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara showed great application as India ended the opening day of the fourth and final in the driver’s seat despite losing opener Shubman Gill in the third session. (ANI)