Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Mohammed Siraj recently opened up on how he reached out to senior pacer Jasprit Bumrah during the last season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Siraj recalled that he struggled with form during the season and called Bumrah for advice. He mentioned that the Mumbai Indians (MI) speedster made him understand that it was important for pacers to be a step ahead of the batters.
Sharing details of his conversation with Bumrah, here's what Mohammed Siraj said on the RCB podcast:
"I called Jassi bhai and asked, "Bumrah bro. This has been happening to me. What can I do better?". He told me, 'Performance is not in your hands, only the ball is. You can just bowl. Just think of the last season and evaluate how batters are playing against you. You can watch videos of batsmen. You have to stay a step ahead of them and not rely on your past glories.'"
Mohammed Siraj failed to get going in last year's cash-rich league. The RCB seamer managed to pick up just nine wickets from 15 matches and gave away runs at an economy rate of 10.07.
"When you learn these things, it improves your skill as a bowler" - Mohammed Siraj on how Team India's senior pacers guided him on England tour
Mohammed Siraj also revealed that veteran bowlers Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma helped him a lot during India's tour of England in 2021.
The 29-year-old highlighted that the two seasoned campaigners spoke in detail about the line and lengths one needs to bowl on those pitches. He suggested that having such conversations with senior players helped him better his game.
"When we were in England, Ishant and Shami bhai were telling me what length works on those wickets, and where does it swing or seam from," Siraj added. "When you learn these things, it improves your skill as a bowler. It is important to keep learning and improving for a bowler."
Siraj was one of India's top performers in the five-match Test series in England, picking up 18 wickets from nine innings. He was one of the key architects of the Virat Kohli-led side's emphatic 151-run win over the hosts at Lord's, bagging eight wickets in the encounter.
The talented fast bowler further emphasized that his primary focus is on executing his plans well during a match. He added that he assesses his performance based on that.
"I take a look at whatever plans I had for the game, did I manage to execute them well or not?" Siraj elaborated. "Performance is secondary. Did the ball land where I wanted it to land? If it didn't, what was the reason behind it? This is the conversation I have with myself after every game and then I work on those shortcomings during the practice sessions and go on to execute them again during the next match."
Mohammed Siraj was left out of India's playing XI for the ongoing fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia in Ahmedabad. The right-arm bowler didn't have a big role to play on spin-friendly pitches in three Tests and finished with a solitary wicket from four innings.
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