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“Rahane gave me the freedom to bowl the way I wanted and set my own field” - Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj made his debut in the Boxing Day Test match
Mohammed Siraj made his debut in the Boxing Day Test match
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 26 Dec 2020, 16:04 IST
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India's debutant pacer Mohammed Siraj has highlighted the immense support he received from captain Ajinkya Rahane to execute his plans and set his own fields.

The lanky pacer spoke about his experiences of making a debut in the Boxing Day Test against Australia during a post-match interview with the Sony Sports network.

Mohammed Siraj was asked how he would like to sum up his performance on his first day in Test cricket. He expressed delight about having made his Test debut and revealed Ajinkya Rahane had put him at ease by asking him to think of the match as any other first-class encounter.

"Firstly, I am very happy that I got to make my debut. And I had spoken to Rahane and he told me to do whatever I have been doing for India A and domestic cricket. He asked me not to think too much that I was playing for India and bowl my normal stuff," Siraj said.
"I enjoyed a lot bowling with Rahane as the captain. Because he gave me the freedom to bowl the way I wanted and set my own field. He was also motiviating me if one or two balls went bad. So, I was getting the confidence with him," he added.

Zaheer Khan asked Mohammed Siraj if getting the first opportunity to bowl quite late in the day had affected his nervousness. The Hyderabad-born pacer responded it had actually helped ease his nerves. He said:

"I was a little nervous at the start. But by the time my bowling came after lunch, my entire nervousness was gone."

Mohammed Siraj was one of two debutants for India in the Boxing Day Test against Australia, Shubman Gill being the other. The speedster scalped the crucial wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green to help India bowl out the Kangaroos for 195 runs in their first innings.


Bumrah told me to focus on the next ball: Mohammed Siraj

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Mohammed Siraj snared a couple of crucial wickets in Australia
Mohammed Siraj snared a couple of crucial wickets in Australia's first innings

Mohammed Siraj was further asked about his discussions with Jasprit Bumrah in the middle. The former responded that his senior partner was only asking him to concentrate on one delivery at a time and not look too far ahead.

"He was coming to me ball to ball and telling me to just think about the next delivery and not the entire over," Siraj said.

Mohammed Siraj signed off by observing the presence of Bumrah had enhanced his confidence and helped him to do well.

"He was telling me that I will do well and asked me not to take any tension. So, I also got the confidence because he was with me," he added.

Published 26 Dec 2020, 16:04 IST
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