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"The goal is to win the Test series" - Mohammed Siraj believes Team India can win the Gabba Test

Mohammed Siraj celebrates with Team India after his maiden five-wicket haul.
Mohammed Siraj celebrates with Team India after his maiden five-wicket haul.
Modified 18 Jan 2021

Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj says that the visitors fancy their chances of pulling off an incredible win at the Gabba on Day 5. Although a draw would be enough for Team India to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the 26-year-old said that the team wishes to win the series.

The three-Test old Mohammed Siraj lauded the efforts of the inexperienced Indian bowling attack that restricted Australia to manageable totals in both innings.

While Washington Sundar and T Natarajan were making their Test debuts, Shadul Thakur and Navdeep Saini were playing only their second games in the longest format of the game.

In a video conference at the end of the fourth day's play, Mohammed Siraj expressed his pride for 'leading' the bowling attack. He hailed the newcomers for stepping up for the injury-ravaged visitors.

"If I get a chance, I will bat for India, but the goal is to win the series. After so many injuries, still we fought back especially in the first innings. It is a proud moment to see how the youngsters Shardul, Washington and Natarajan are performing," Mohammed Siraj said.

Mohammed Siraj also thanked stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane for believing in the pacer's ability, ensuring that he wasn't nervous and gave his best.

"They all are grabbing the opportunities, and I would like to thank Rahane who showed trust in me and the youngsters. He was constantly talking to me, and he gave me confidence," Siraj added.

I missed Jasprit Bumrah's presence: Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj (left) and Jasprit Bumrah (right)
Mohammed Siraj (left) and Jasprit Bumrah (right)

In the absence of Team India's premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj delivered crucial breakthroughs for his team in the ongoing Gabba Test. In the process, he became the first Indian bowler to bag a five-wicket haul at the Gabba.

Siraj is now the leading wicket-taker for the visitors in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with 13 scalps to his name. He believes the experience of playing domestic cricket has helped him become a better bowler.

"No, not like a senior bowler, but the games I played for India and the domestic cricket experience helped me gain some confidence for the matches," Mohammed Siraj asserted.

In his first two Tests, Mohammed Siraj was mentored by Jasprit Bumrah, who was the most experienced bowler in the attack. However, because of an abdominal strain, Bumrah was ruled out of the Gabba Test.

The 26-year-old missed getting valuable advice from Bumrah but realised he needed to lead the inexperienced bowling attack from the front.

"I missed Jassi bhai (Jasprit Bumrah), and in his absence, I had to step up on the occasion. My aim was to build pressure on Australia batsmen," Siraj further added.

Mohammed Siraj's five-wicket haul has given the visitors a genuine chance of winning the series at the Gabba. The hosts, on the other hand, need to win the Test to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Asked to chase down a daunting 328 runs for an improbable victory, the visitors need another 324 runs on Day 5 and have all the ten wickets in hand.

On an uneven Day-5 track where the odd ball could misbehave, Team India will need a strong start from their openers to fancy going for a win. However, early wickets would force the visitors to shut down shop and play for a draw instead.

Nevertheless, with all three results possible, it remains to be seen how both teams approach the final day of an absolutely exhilarating series so far.

Published 18 Jan 2021, 16:20 IST
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