Team India pace bowler Mohammed Siraj downplayed his poor bowling show in the 2023 World Cup match against Afghanistan, stating that everyone can have an off day in the office. He also added that one poor game cannot make him a bad bowler as well. While India won against Afghanistan by eight wickets in Delhi, Siraj was quite expensive, conceding 76 runs in nine overs, without claiming a wicket as well. He, however, bounced back against Pakistan in Ahmedabad on Saturday, October 14, claiming 2/50 from eight overs. He got the wickets of opener Abdullah Shafique (20) and Pakistan captain Babar Azam (50) as well.
Siraj said: “When we go to office, sometimes we have an off day – it cannot always be the same performance every time, the graph always comes down. So, what I think is that I am not a bad bowler because of one match. I always keep my confidence high because I know my bowling is good and I have also been the number one bowler [in ICC rankings]. This confidence helps me in my bowling. I can’t be a bad bowler because of one bad match. I backed myself to do well and got the result today.”
The pacer again shared: “I started from the 3rd over because, in the end, there could have been chances of reverse. When I was bowling with the straight seam, it was coming onto the bat easily. The batsmen were not struggling at all. So, I thought to bowl cross seam. On this wicket, the ball can sometimes keep low and sometimes you get extra bounce. So, I tried that and managed to get the results.”
Apart from Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja also picked up two wickets each as India bundled out Pakistan for 191 as well. However, Siraj disagreed with the observation that the delivery that bowled Babar Azam was kept low as well. He added that an error of judgment from babar cost him his wicket.
“The ball didn’t keep low. The ball was pitched in front and he tried to play it behind [square]. That’s why he was late and the ball skidded a little, nothing else,” Siraj concluded. “Yes, because when their partnership was going well. When I was called on to bowl, I had a plan to take a wicket. I knew if we broke the partnership, the new batsman will be under pressure. I got that wicket and after that, they collapsed.”