Indian fast bowler Mohammed Siraj revealed that he developed outswingers during lockdown and also took a lot of help from Dale Steyn during the IPL, all of which is coming good now. He also added that the SCG wicket is very flat and easy, so India would need to show patience and bowl consistently.
A good fast bowler is who can threaten both the inside and outside edge of a batsman and move the ball both ways. India's latest pace sensation Mohammed Siraj, pretty much like Jasprit Bumrah, was quite natural to bowling in-swingers but not when it came to outswingers. But over time, Siraj developed a decent outswinger and that has helped his in-swinger become more lethal, due to which he has been able to play with batsman's mind.
Reflecting on how he developed outswingers, the Hyderabad pacer, who claimed the wicket of David Warner today, stated that he aced the delivery during lockdown and also took a lot of tips from South African great Dale Steyn during his stint with RCB in the IPL 2020, where both the pacers played alongside each other.
"I worked really hard on bowling out swingers during lockdown just like I did for India A. As I didn't know how to bowl it well, I even took help from Dale Steyn during IPL, and now I feel confident bowling them," Siraj stated in the virtual press conference at the end of day one of the SCG Test.
Indian bowlers were brilliant in the first two Tests when they got assistance from the wicket, but the docile SCG wicket did not have much for the bowlers, even with the brand new ball. The right-arm pacer asserted that the wicket is very flat and only discipline will help get wickets here as even bouncers aren't as lethal, given the nature of the deck. Siraj also spoke about India's plans to debutant Will Pucovski, who scored a fine fifty on his comeback from a nasty concussion.
"We knew that Pucovski had his issues against short-stuff as we saw in the warm-up game where he had got concussed. And today as well, we tried to bowl few bouncers here and there as he wasn't leaving them instead trying to play them.
"But, the wicket was very flat, and the ball was coming on to bat easily, so we didn't want to try a lot as it's very easy to bat. The bouncers also didn't get much aid from the pitch."
"But the ball is turning as we could see in the few overs when Ashwin and Jadeja were bowling. We will keep building up pressure as Test cricket is about showing patience and bowling consistent line and lengths and adapting to wicket quickly and our effort will be to bundle out Australia to as low score as possible," he said.
Apart from his own bowling, two notable moments of the day involving Siraj were how the youngster got emotional during national anthem and was helping debutante Saini while fielding near the bowler. He said that he got emotional as he remembered his father during the national anthem.
"I remembered my father during national anthem and that's what made me emotional. He wanted me to play Test cricket for India and it would have so special for him to see me in the whites had he been alive."
On helping Saini, he said, "Me and Saini have played a lot of games together for India A. So, I was just telling him to keep focusing on what he does well in domestic cricket and keep building on pressure by bowling dot balls."
Rishabh Pant gave two lives to Will Pucovski today, one of which came of Siraj's bowling as well, due to which the youngster has been facing a lot of heat on social media. But Siraj claimed that he was hardly fussed about the dropped chances.
"Dropping catches are part and parcel of the game, it's frustrating when it happens but then we focus on next deliveries and move on quickly."