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"Cracks on the Gabba pitch will play in the minds of batsmen" - Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj reckons the cracks on the Gabba pitch may cause the Indian batsmen a few problems.
Mohammed Siraj reckons the cracks on the Gabba pitch may cause the Indian batsmen a few problems.
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 18 Jan 2021
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Fast bowler Mohammed Siraj reckons it might be tricky for the Indian batsmen to counter the variable bounce that might come into play due to the cracks on the Day 5 Gabba pitch.

Although Team India have all their wickets intact, they will still need to either score another 324 runs or bat out the entire day to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

In a virtual press-conference after the end of the day's play, Mohammed Siraj said that the batsmen will take heart from their resilient performance that saved the Sydney Test and will be prepared to give their best on Day 5.

"When they bowl, obviously there will be some confusion, it will play in the minds of the batsmen that there are cracks on the pitch, but our batsmen are prepared for this. We will come to know only tomorrow," Mohammed Siraj said.

Steve Smith's wicket gave me a lot of confidence: Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj became the first Indian bowler to grab a five-wicket haul at the Gabba after his brilliant figures of 5-73 saw the hosts get bundled out for 294 on Day 4.

In the process, the 26-year-old became the leading wicket-taker for the visitors in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with 13 scalps. However, Mohammed Siraj revealed that he enjoyed the wicket of Steve Smith the most.

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Mohammed Siraj got the ball to shoot up from a good length. That caught Smith by surprise, and the star batsmen could only glove it to Ajinkya Rahane at gully. Siraj was equally pumped up after dismissing Marnus Labuschagne, who was also his maiden Test wicket at the MCG.

"In the whole series, I feel it would be Steve Smith's wicket; there was extra bounce from the area where I thought I would get it. He is the best batsmen in the world, and it gave me a lot of confidence; also the wicket of Marnus (Labuschagne), it boosted my confidence," Mohammed Siraj asserted.

Displaying immense character and resilience, an injury-ravaged Team India have managed to keep the series alive going into the final day against a full-strength Australian team at the latter's den. If the visitors manage to avoid defeat at the Gabba, it would be a huge achievement for the depleted side.

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Very few had given them a chance of making a comeback in the Test series after their humiliating defeat at the Adelaide Oval in the first Test. However, Team India showed what they are made of, defying all odds to put the hosts under immense pressure.

The likes of Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal do have the ability to score runs quickly. If the visitors are able to start cautiously on Day 5 and get off to a decent start, they would fancy their chances of a victory..

However, if they lose a few quick wickets, the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane do have the ability to shut up shop and play for a draw. Nevertheless, an enticing finale of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy beckons on Tuesday, with all three results possible.

Published 18 Jan 2021, 17:53 IST
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