India vs New Zealand, 2nd Test: Mohammed Siraj stands out in spin-dominated game

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India vs New Zealand, 2nd Test: Mohammed Siraj stands out in spin-dominated game
© Provided by The Times of India

MUMBAI: There was a time when Indian quicks were used by the captains to see the shine off the new ball. Nowadays, the captains don’t even bother to wait for the cherry to lose its sheen. The slower bowlers are pressed into service immediately.

Luckily for Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav, Virat Kohli was in a generous mood as he allowed them to start the proceedings at the Wankhede when New Zealand’s turn came to bat.

READ ALSO: India vs New Zealand, 2nd Test: History with Ajaz Patel, momentum with India

Siraj seized the small window of opportunity that came his way to make inroads into the tourists’ batting order by picking up the first three wickets and leaving the rest for the spinners to devour.

“I knew I would get a 3-4 over spell and wanted to bowl with full intensity and in the right areas. I tried to bowl to the stumps and be consistent,” the 27-year-old said after finishing with figures of 3-19. “Here spinners dominated, but I thought that if I could bowl with confidence for a few overs and be consistent then I could grab a few wickets and help the team. That was the plan – to place it in the right areas.”

Siraj bowled with precision and to the plan. The wicket of Ross Taylor was an absolute peach. The batsman was expecting an inswinging delivery but the ball held its line and crashed into the off-stump.

“The plan was that we had set field for an inswing delivery and aimed to hit the pads but the way I was building my rhythm, I thought why not bowl an outswing. It was a dream delivery for a fast bowler,” he said.

Siraj also said Tom Latham was not expecting a bouncer and hence his plan paid off really well. “I was just trying to work on my bowling, I worked on my outswinger as well. When New Zealand pacers were bowling, I was thinking, why is it not swinging? I just planned on bowling in one area consistently to get swing.

“I had the belief. I saw in the last game that no one bowled a bouncer to Tom Latham and I discussed it with Virat bhai. Tom Latham wasn’t expecting a bouncer and the plan paid off well,” Siraj said.

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