Without momentum how Mohammed Siraj got early wickets against South Africa

Mohammed Siraj, who bagged his first Player of the Series award in the ODIs against South Africa, revealed how he got early wickets in Delhi, with the surface now offering momentum for the pacesetters.

India’s captain Shikhar Dhawan said after winning Tuesday’s draw he wanted his sailors to make the most of the dampness on the pitch as Delhi had rained incessantly in recent days.

On the contrary, there was little for the fast bowlers in the post-match chat with Kuldeep Yadav and Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj.

“There was no momentum with the new ball. After giving up a few boundaries, I realized how long I have to bowl at this track,” Siraj said.

“I quickly realized that bowling bouncers were a good option. So I brought a fine leg up and a square leg back. I was happy with both wickets (Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks) as they were carried out according to plan,” he added.

Malan meters his move to Avesh Khan, who stands at deep square leg, while Hendricks was rushed with a bouncer and substitute Ravi Bishnoi grabbed the fine leg hook on the second try.

Siraj credited County Cricket with improving his line length and why he felt confident taking wickets with the new ball. The 28-year-old only played one game for Warwickshire against Somerset before suffering an injury. The Pacer bagged a whistle on his only outing.

β€œPlaying county cricket has improved my line and length. I was confident taking wickets from the new ball. The ball also came out of my hand very nicely. I also loved the responsibility. I was just trying to be consistent and throw a length,” Siraj said.

In the second ODI at Ranchi, Siraj (3/38) picked up three wickets and it was his wickets with the older ball that hampered South Africa’s momentum.

β€œI got a little backward swing at Ranchi. It wasn’t easy for the batsmen to hit from hard length. It worked well for me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kuldeep Yadav wreaked havoc at the last ODI in South Africa by winning four wickets in 4.1 overs and running through the stern and said he was happy with his performance in the ODI series.

β€œI’m happy with my performance throughout the series. The wicket was good, getting a good grip from the spinners. I was just trying to bowl at good length. When I came to bowl, there were already five of them. I was just trying my variations on the lower order batters and it worked,” said Kuldeep, who took six wickets in the series.

Siraj asked Kuldeep what was on his mind as he scored a hat-trick against South Africa No.11 Lungi Ngidi.

“I had thrown the wrong ball around the wicket, I thought in his head that he (Ngidi) must think I’m going to roll the same ball. But I was planning on bowling my normal Chinaman delivery (leg spin) that comes in, but it has a little bit more fullness and that’s why he was able to defend it,” he said.

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