ZIM vs IND: Bowled in right areas, didn’t think about wickets, says Mohammed Siraj
ZIM vs IND: As India defeated Zimbabwe by five wickets in the second ODI to claim the series, pacer Mohammed Siraj remarked on Saturday that bowling consistently in the appropriate areas without worrying about wickets was the secret to his success.
Siraj, who had one for 36 in the first ODI, continued to bowl in the off-stump channel while tormenting the Zimbabwean hitters with late swing.
Hyderabadi player Sanju Samson, 28, was rewarded for his consistency when Takudzwanashe Kaitano, the opener, edged in the ninth over, allowing Samson to pull off a one-handed miracle.
“In West Indies and England also I bowled well, my rhythm was good in the first match as well, so my plan was to hit an area consistently without worrying whether I will get wickets or not,” Siraj, who took one wicket for 16 runs in eight overs, said in the post-match press conference.
Siraj has excelled in red-ball cricket, taking 40 wickets in 13 Test matches, but he struggled in the white-ball format.
Asked if he had made any changes for white-ball cricket, Siraj said:
“I just kept belief in myself, because ups and downs are part of everyone’s life, so I just kept belief that I can do it no matter if it is a white ball or red ball.
“So I just wanted to keep hitting the right areas and bowl dot balls to build up pressure on the opposition. Starting with the new ball, I went for wickets a few times but as you know white ball doesn’t swing much, so I was planning to consistently hit one area and bowl maiden overs.”
Siraj has only claimed five wickets in five T20Is, but thirteen in ten ODIs.
India was 97 for 4 at the conclusion of the 14th over, needing 97 to win, and had 24.2 overs remaining when Sanju Samson’s unbeaten 43 off 39 deliveries brought the visitors home.
Asked if there were any worrying signs in the team, Siraj said:
“Because the total was 160 or something. We were 100 for 4 but there was no panic in the dressing room because we needed just 40 runs after Ishan Kishan’s wicket.”
Rahul Dravid given a break prior to the Asia Cup, and VVS Laxman, the current director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), took over as India’s head coach for the trip of Zimbabwe.
Asked about Laxman’s role, Siraj said:
“Laxman sir was part of Sunrisers Hyderabad (in IPL) when I was selected for the first time. He understands my skills and gives me a lot of confidence and it feels good when a coach is around.”