Veteran India pace bowler Mohammed Siraj has become a regular face in the longer format for India for a little over two years now. And, he once again proved his worth. He picked up his second five-wicket haul.
“First of all, this performance was really good because it’s not easy to take a five-fer on such a flat wicket,” Siraj said at the end of the fourth day’s play. “The pitch wasn’t doing much. I wanted to keep it stump to stump. From there if it seams, it’s really good. That was my plan, just to keep executing this simple plan. Today we had a relatively new ball too, so it was swinging. Tomorrow we’ll start with an older ball, we’ll have to keep simple plans, not give away too many runs and just keep building the pressure.”
“It’s hot and humid here. On and off it’s raining too. It’s a challenge to keep yourself warmed up as a fast bowler when you keep going off the field and the body tends to relax and cool down fast. As a fast bowler it’s also difficult to bowl long spells in this humidity. I try to keep my body warmed up and just focus on simple plans,” he again shared.
“I’m really thankful to Soham bhai (S&C coach) and credit to him for working on my fitness. I’m playing continuously and he works so hard with me. From proteins to omegas, he orders everything for me. Look at this whoop band [fitness tracker], he only ordered it. To be honest, I feel really good when you are given an extra responsibility [of leading the attack]. It’s a great feeling and it’s a challenge too. When no one else is there, I have to get on the ground and show some responsibility. I like accepting this challenge,” Mohammed Siraj further added.
Meanwhile, Siraj has also done some mentoring duties. He helped Mukesh Kumar to feel included and part of the team through dinners and off-field bonding sessions. And, Siraj applauded the debutant, who took two wickets in the first innings.
“Mukesh has been around with us. He’s not new to this. He has performed in Ranji Trophy on some really difficult wickets. It’s not easy to take wickets in Ranji, there are some wickets even flatter than this. It’s an achievement to perform there. And then to come here, to control his nerves and execute is not easy. It’s his first match for India, that too a Test match. It’s not easy to bowl these long spells and he bowls with a lot of intensity. It’s not easy. Whenever we go out, we just keep pulling his legs, ‘what’s happening back home?’ etc. Fast bowlers we always have a bonding. We share and take each other along.”