Premier paceman Mohammed Siraj drew the first blood for India in the high-octane clash against Pakistan on Saturday at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. Siraj didn’t have the best of starts with the ball and got hit for three boundaries in the first over. However, he tweaked his line and length after the initial hiccup.
It was the last ball of the eighth over when Siraj trapped Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique in front of the wicket. Skipper Rohit Sharma also contributed to the wicket as it was he who had a chat with Siraj before the delivery. The pacer went for a cross-seam delivery and the ball kept a bit low and hit the pads. It was an absolute plumb in front of the wicket as Rohit and Siraj celebrated the wicket by pointing at each other.
Live images showed Virat Kohli in conversation with captain Rohit Sharma before the start of the eighth over. Rohit seemingly advised Siraj to bowl stump to stump and the plan paid dividends as Siraj trapped Shafique LBW on the ball last of the 8th over of Pakistan’s inning.
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As soon as the umpire raised his finger, Rohit let out a huge roar as he ran towards Siraj to celebrate the dismissal. The Indian pacer was animated himself after a rocky start as Rohit had elected to bowl first but Pakistan batters had scored 41 runs.
7.5 Captain Rohit Talks with Siraj
7.6 Siraj Strikes
— VIVEK.RO45 (@UniquePullShot) October 14, 2023
Shortly after the dismissal of Shafique, India got their second breakthrough courtesy of Hardik Pandya who got Imam-ul-Haq on 36. The Indian vice-captain got the ball to swing outside after skidding off the surface, Imam could only edge it behind and a diving KL Rahul did the rest.
India nearly had the third wicket in the kitty as well. Rohit turned to Ravindra Jadeja after the first powerplay and the Indian all-rounder hit Mohammad Rizwan plumb in front of the stumps, which was given out by Richard Illingworth.
The Pakistan batter had a word with his captain Babar Azam at the other end and went for a review which helped him survive as replays showed Jadeja’s ball would miss the stumps. Siraj nonetheless would be happy that he continued to pick wickets with the new ball and lived up to the expectations of Rohit and other Indian teammates as India put Pakistan under pressure with the two quick dismissals.