Mohammed Siraj made a roaring return to the Indian team on Thursday, picking up two wickets on Day 1 of the fourth Test. The fast bowler also touched upon his bowling plans for the day, revealing what Virat Kohli had told him after the skipper handed him the ball.
Siraj got the prized wickets of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in the first innings. He was a constant threat against England, using the Reliance end to perfection.
Speaking to the media after the game, Siraj admitted that Kohli’s advice helped him stay focused while bowling short spells against England.
“Virat bhai told me that my only job is to keep bowling consistently at one spot and be patient while building up pressure. When I talked to Ishant bhai, he also advised me to keep bowling with consistency," said Siraj.
With one of the ends assisting the quicker bowlers, Virat Kohli resorted to pace bowling from one end, while spinners ran the show from the other. That meant only one of Mohammed Siraj and Ishant Sharma bowled after the initial phase, with the Indian skipper getting the most out of his pacers in short spells.
The strategy worked perfectly for Mohammed Siraj, as it allowed him to set the batsmen up. He later explained how a disciplined bowling approach got him success in Ahmedabad.
“They advised me not to try too many things. Because when you build up pressure, you naturally pick up wickets. That was our plan for today.”
Mohammed Siraj dissects the recent success of Indian bowlers
Indian bowlers have enjoyed an outstanding few months, starting with the Australian tour. The pacers have continued the momentum at home, despite the tracks favoring the spinners.
Mohammed Siraj now has three wickets in this series, while Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma have taken six and four wickets respectively. With the pacers posing a threat on Indian pitches as well, Siraj explained the reason behind their domestic success.
“When we’re bowling in India, we know the areas where we have to bowl that will get us wickets. Wherever we play we just make sure to not try too many variations. We plan to keep things simple and continue to bowl at one spot.”