With no swing, how Mohammed Siraj got early wickets against South Africa

Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj explains how he executed his bouncers to perfection in the third ODI against South Africa.

Mohammed Siraj, who bagged his maiden player of the series award in the ODIs against South Africa, revealed how he got early wickets in Delhi with surface offering now swing for the pacers.

India captain Shikhar Dhawan after winning the toss on Tuesday, said that he wanted his seamers to make the most of the moisture on the pitch because of the incessant rain Delhi has received in the last few days.

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

“There was no swing with the new ball. After conceding a couple of boundaries, I realised on what length I must bowl on this track,” said Siraj.

“I quickly realised that bowling bouncers was a good option. So I brought fine leg up and square leg back.I was satisfied with both the wickets (Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks) as it was executed according to the plan,” he added.

Malan mistimes his pull to Avesh Khan, standing at the deep square leg, while Hendricks was hurried with a bouncer and substitute Ravi Bishnoi grabbed the catch at the fine leg in the second attempt.

Siraj credited county cricket for improving his line length and why he was confident of taking wickets with the new ball. The 28-year-old played just one match for Warwickshire against Somerset before he got injured. The pacer did bag a fifer in his only outing.

“Playing in the county cricket has improved my line and length. I was confident of taking wickets from the new ball. The ball was also coming out of my hand very nicely. I loved the responsibility as well. I was just trying to be consistent and bowl and one length,” said Siraj.

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

“I was getting a little reverse swing in Ranchi. It was not easy for the batters to hit from the hard length. It worked well for me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kuldeep Yadav wreaked havoc in South Africa lower order in the final ODI, taking four wickets in 4.1 overs and ran through the tail said he is happy with his performance in the ODI series.

“I am happy with my performance throughout the series. The wicket was good, it was getting a good grip from the spinners. I was only trying to bowl on the good length. When I came to bowl, they were already five down. I was just trying out my variations to the lower-order batters and it worked,” said Kuldeep, who got six wickets in the series.

Siraj asked Kuldeep what was going on his mind while he was on a hat-trick to South Africa’s No 11 Lungi Ngidi.

“I had bowled the wrong un from round the wicket, I thought in his mind he (Ngidi) must be thinkig that I will bowl the same ball. But I planned to bowl my normal chinaman delivery (leg-spin), which comes in, but it has a tad fuller, and that’s why he was able to defend it,” he said.

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