Mohammed Siraj’s exceptional spell in the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka will be etched in his memory as a “magical spell” that turned the game in India’s favor. After delivering six consecutive dot balls, Siraj unleashed a brilliant display of swing bowling, dismissing four Sri Lankan batters in quick succession and initiating a dramatic collapse from which the hosts never recovered. His remarkable performance helped India bowl out Sri Lanka for just 50 runs in 15.2 overs, securing their victory in the final.
Reflecting on his incredible performance, Siraj admitted that he had never dreamed of such an achievement. He recalled a previous ODI against Sri Lanka where he narrowly missed taking a fifth wicket. However, in the Asia Cup final, everything fell into place.
“To be honest, it was a magical spell, as I had never dreamt about it. I had to struggle hard to gain the fifth wicket in the last ODI against Lanka in Trivandrum, which never came. But, it all worked out today,” said Mohammed Siraj during a chat shared by BCCI on their website.
Siraj explained that during his first spell, he realized that the ball was swinging well, so he focused on hitting the right length and spot rather than trying to hit the wicket.
“In my first spell, the moment I saw I was able to swing the ball, I realized that I didn’t need to hit the wicket. I just intended on bowling at a particular spot and make the ball talk,” he said.
Mohammed Siraj reveals his favourite wicket from dream spell in Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) September 18, 2023
One of his key wickets was that of Sri Lanka’s captain, Dasun Shanaka. Siraj revealed that he had been working on generating out-swing deliveries from wide of the crease and executed it perfectly to dismiss Shanaka.
“I had practiced a lot on generating out-swing deliveries from wide of the crease in West Indies. My outswingers were going well. So I tried from the wide of the crease to push for inswing (which will move away after pitching),” Siraj explained. “So what I planned, what I had in mind, it turned out to be absolutely perfect, and it was my best wicket of the game (dismissing Shanaka),” he added.
Mohammed Siraj’s outstanding performance made him the 12th Indian bowler to claim a six-wicket haul in an ODI, and he believes it will boost his confidence ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
“It’s a great achievement for me, especially since it’s the final. It will help me gain a lot of confidence before the (ODI) World Cup,” he said.