Team India speedster Mohammed Siraj starred with the ball as India convincingly beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in a one-sided contest at the Asia Cup final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday, September 17. He finished with career-best figures of 6/21, including four wickets in an over as India bowled out the hosts for just 50 runs in 15.2 overs.
In a video released by the BCCI, Siraj picked Shanaka’s wicket as his favourite dismissal in the all-important final. He said: “(On Shanaka’s wicket) I worked a lot in the West Indies to bowl outswinger wide of the crease because I was doing well. I tried to push for inswing outside the crease. I executed exactly how I envisioned myself. It was my best wicket.”To be able to perform in the final is a great thing for me. I will get enough confidence for the World Cup.”
Mohammed Siraj continued: “To be honest, today’s spell was like magic because even I had not thought about it. It was the final as well. Last time, when we played against Sri Lanka in Trivandrum, I took four wickets in four overs, but I couldn’t take the fifth despite bowling the next six overs. In the two matches that we played here, the bowling was good, I was able to beat the batters, but today, I finally got those edges. When I started the spell, I only released the ball. There was enough swing on offer. I realized that there is no need to hit the wicket but bowl at one particular spot.”
Meanwhile, Siraj, who was adjudged the Player of the Match, also finished as India’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament as well with 10 wickets in five games. In 2023, he has scalped 29 wickets in 13 ODIs which came at an economy rate of 4.62 so far. However, he also said that his hard work has helped him succeed in the last year as well.
“I don’t think much, I read the wicket, but what’s important for me is to pick the length and keep bowling in the good length area consistently. I read the batters on what shots they are premediating to play. I am using my wrong’un (googly) and flipper in the best possible way. I am making the most of the crease by coming close to the wicket from the corner, so the bowling has improved, and I am feeling confident with my rhythm. I have worked a lot in the last 1- 1.5 years. The rhythm takes time, so I am lucky to find it for the last one year. At the start, it wasn’t easy, but now everything is going smoothly. I am being aggressive, which has helped my pace, so I am enjoying my bowling,” Mohammed Siraj concluded.