Team India captain Rohit Sharma revealed that he was keen for pacer Mohammed Siraj to continue bowling even after the latter had sent down seven overs in a row. Rohit added that he was advised by the trainer against doing so even as Siraj was also keen on carrying on.
Siraj registered sensational figures of 6/21 in seven overs as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 50 in 15.2 overs after winning the toss and batting first in the Asia Cup 2023 final at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.
At a post-match press conference following India’s thumping 10-wicket triumph, Rohit shared his views on Siraj’s spell and also explained why the pacer did not bowl more than seven overs.
"We all complimented him and were behind him when he was bowling that spell. He bowled seven overs which is a lot. I wanted to keep bowling him, but I got a message from our trainer that we need to stop him now. He was also quite desperate to bowl. That's the nature of any bowler or any batter when they see the opportunity, they want to pounce on it,” Rohit said.
The 36-year-old added that while Siraj was in a fantastic rhythm, it was important not to get carried away by the situation keeping the bigger picture in mind.
"But that's where my job comes in and I want to make sure everything stays a little calm and you don't over exaggerate a little too much. That's the call. I remember against Sri Lanka in Trivandrum he was in a similar situation, he bowled eight-nine overs on a trot, he was on four wickets. But seven overs is good enough," he added.
Siraj claimed four wickets in the fourth over of the innings to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 12/5.
“That is a special skillset” - Rohit on Siraj getting the ball to move on a dry surface
Continuing his praise of Siraj, Rohit stated that to get the ball to move on a dry surface like the one on offer in Colombo needs special skills. He also added that it is important for bowlers to stay fresh for the challenges ahead.
"Siraj has to be specially mentioned here, when the pitch is looking that dry, to get the ball to move around like that is a special skillset. I hope he continues that for a little longer, at the same time we just need to look after all the bowlers, make sure they're fresh, and keep them ready for the games in front of us now," Rohit concluded.
After Siraj’s spell blew away Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final, India romped home to victory in 6.1 overs.