One day cricket always produces some intense battles between bat and ball while the skippers try to impact the game with tactical nous. In the third ODI against South Africa on Tuesday, Mohammed Siraj won two intense battles with the ball following some brilliant field placements by Shikhar Dhawan.
India are hopeful of sealing a third straight series victory with an underpowered squad as they play South Africa in the third and final ODI at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Tuesday. The Men in Blue had bounced back strongly in Ranchi after losing the opening encounter in Lucknow and have started off well with the ball in the deciding clash.
Shikhar Dhawan took a surprising call by handing Washington Sundar the new ball and the right-arm spinner immediately impressed, bowling a tidy first over. The second over was a delightful exhibition of spin bowling as he beautifully set up the in-form Quinton de Kock to claim a crucial wicket for the hosts. However, the two wickets after that dismissal really caught the limelight and highlighted Dhawan’s reading of the game as well as Siraj’s ability to execute plans to perfection.
Opener Janneman Malan had been faring well and had scored some eye-catching boundaries, understandably incensing Siraj. The two had shared a couple of staredowns by the eighth over already and were ready to engage once again when Dhawan decided to make a slight field change. He stationed a fielder at deep square making Avesh Khan the only player on the boundary in the leg side. The very next ball, Siraj banged one short, and Malan instinctively pulled at it as the ball traveled straight down Avesh’s throat. Siraj could not contain his excitement and screamed in delight, marking a fitting way to end an intense battle.
However, he was not yet done. In his very next over, Siraj surprised the struggling Reeza Hendricks with a searing bouncer causing the batsman to simply throw his hands at the white rock in despair. The ball looped towards short fine leg and an outstretched Ravi Bishnoi somehow got his hand to it, before clutching it firmly on the second attempt. Siraj let out yet another passionate cry in response, ecstatic at the way the team had trapped two crucial batsmen to leave the Proteas reeling at 26/3 at the end of the first powerplay.
The internet was quick to recognize the brilliance of the Dhawan-Siraj duo and took to social media to show their appreciation.
What a wicket!
Now that right
Two wickets on bouncers of 140 clicks, Siraj continues to trouble South Africa.— India Fantasy (@india_fantasy) October 11, 2022
Mohammad Siraj on fire 🔥🔥— Mankading 🔥 (@Englishcrickett) October 11, 2022
New captain alert
Make SIRAJ INDIAN CAPTAIN — राम भक्त कट्टर पंडित (@subaah_e_banara) October 11, 2022
Siraj 🔥— ᗩneesh (@aneesh636) October 11, 2022
Areee siraj🤩🤩— KRISH👑|| Finally 71st 💯 😍 (@KR4VK18) October 11, 2022
He is the one.
Dale Steyn wants Siraj to be the replacement of Bumrah in T20 WC & I agree with that.— Arya Harish (@iAryaHarish) October 11, 2022
Ultimately it has to be Siraj replacing Bumrah… expensive yes- but is a wicket taker.— Mayank (@fab_mayank) October 11, 2022
Only the one
Breaking -— v. (@v1mal7) October 11, 2022
Mohd Siraj will replace Jasprit Bumrah for the t20 wc happening in Australia and will fly soon.