Pacer Mohammed Siraj reveals the talks and the atmosphere in the Indian dressing room after the loss in Adelaide. India was bowled out for 36 runs – their lowest ever Test total – and lost the Test inside three days.
However, Ravi Shastri was the right man for motivating the team; if there was a bluster ever needed from the lively coach, it was after the Adelaide disaster. As Siraj reveals, Shastri told the team to not think too much about one bad session as 36 all out will never happen again.
Mohammed Siraj was given a debut in the second Test after Mohammed Shami was ruled out due to a wrist fracture he sustained in the Adelaide. The youngster credits bowling coach, Bharat Arun and stand-in skipper, Ajinkya Rahane for showing faith in him – Siraj returned as India’s leading wicket-taker in the series, he picked 13 wickets in 3 matches including a maiden five-wicket haul in the last Test in Brisbane.
“Ravi Shastri said that 36 all-out happens only once in cricket, it will never happen again. The team atmosphere was brilliant. I know Arun sir since my domestic days, his role has been very important in my career. He knew what I could do. Ajinkya Rahane trusted me and I stood up to his trust. I enjoyed a lot,” Mohammed Siraj told Sports Today.
Challenging to lead the pace attack in my third test: Mohammed Siraj
The plight of injuries hit team India severely as by the time the fourth Test came, Siraj, just two Test old, was the most experienced Test bowler in the squad; Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur have played a single Test and T Natarajan and Washington Sundar were making their debut at the Gabba.
The 29-year-old was disappointed with his figures of 1/77 in the first innings. However, Bharat Arun, who has worked with Siraj for the Hyderabad team, gave him confidence and told him he bowled better than what the numbers suggest.
Siraj went on to pick a five-for in the second innings and restrict Australia to a total which India chased down with just 3 overs remaining in the match. The right-arm seamer will be in action in the upcoming home series against England.
“It was challenging to lead the pace attack in my third test match. My plan was not to take wicket but to build pressure by bowling dot balls, The plan was to bring the batsman under pressure and make him make some mistakes. I bowled well in the first innings but I did not get much wickets, I was upset in the dressing room,” the pacer added.
“But Bharat Arun sir said that I bowled better than expected, he said my bowling was extraordinary and that I was not being judged for not taking wickets. He said Test cricket is like that, you did not get many wickets today but can get them tomorrow and I got rewarded in the 2nd innings,” Mohammed Siraj revealed.