Mohammed Siraj, who made his debut in the MCG Test, has expressed his happiness after dismissing the in-form duo of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne in the ongoing Gabba Test. He also thanked skipper Ajinkya Rahane for instilling confidence and faith in the youngsters throughout the series.
Since making his debut at the absence of Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj has looked very comfortable against the Australian batsmen. So much so, he has already left a clear mark on the series, with 13 wickets in just six innings. In particular, his spell on Day Four of the Gabba Test earmarked a new beginning for the seamer, who picked up his maiden fifer.
While he not only picked up a fifer, he also dismissed both the in-form Australian top-order batsmen Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith during the innings. Following the end of the fourth day’s play, the pacer expressed that he felt really nice to dismiss the duo on day four. His delivery, which kicked off the surface to catch Smith off-guard was one of the best wickets of the day.
“I really liked Smith’s wicket, which I picked today. He’s one of the best batsmen in world cricket and it was really nice for me to get his wicket. Same with Marnus, I really liked how I got his wicket in the series. Labuschagne, he is a very good batsman. It is very difficult to bowl to him but that’s my task. So I kept building pressure from one side and that was the plan,” he admitted in the post-day press conference.
The Hyderabad pacer also revealed that his plan is always to set-up the batsmen wisely, with change-ups. He insisted that he varies the deliveries, with the use of pace and change of lengths, hitting the hard Test match length.
“Actually, I set up the batsmen bowling in the same line and length. After that only I change it up and then bowl variations, like increasing my pace and bowling short deliveries. So that’s really the plan for me.”
Having been so close to an Indian debut before, Siraj made his Indian Test debut under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane. Hailing Rahane’s leadership, he thanked the skipper for believing in the youngsters and often boosting their confidence. Siraj also stated that the entire bowling unit has taken the opportunity and made the fullest use of it.
“If I get a chance, I will surely bat and our only aim is to win the series for India. Despite the injuries, the way we have fought in this series, we feel so proud. Shardul, Natarajan, Washington all of them have grabbed the opportunity in their first game. I would like to thank Ajinkya Rahane who believed in the youngsters and kept boosting our confidence.”
However, the bowler also warned that the chase might be tricky but at the same time, was confident of the Indian batsmen to do the job on day five.
“For batsmen, there will be some doubt but we are well prepared to tackle that, so that we will see that tomorrow.”