Mohammed Siraj reveals how his India and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain, Virat Kohli’s words have helped the pacer achieve tremendous success in the past few months, both in the IPL and then for India in the Test arena.
Mohammed Siraj says that Kohli had put his faith in the speedster and always advised him to bowl on a consistent line and length. He opines that having the captain’s trust in him released the undue pressure and allowed him to bowl with freedom.
As quoted by Times of India, Mohammed Siraj said, “Virat bhai told me that I had it within me to do well. He kept telling me to bowl a consistent line and length. I just tried doing it. Earlier, I had put a lot of pressure on myself but this season, I learned to relax and let the ball do the work.”
During the lockdown, I practiced bowling at a single stump: Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj reveals another secret to his success: the Hyderabad-born seamer used to practice by bowling at a single stump during the lockdown. This helped him bowl in the channel of the off-stump and outside it.
With the same strategy, Siraj became the first bowler to bowl two maidens in a single IPL game when he rocked Kolkata Knight Riders with his spell of 3/8! He finished with 11 wickets in IPL 2020 at an economy of 8.68, which is considered impressive for a young pacer.
The 26-year-old not only made his Test debut in Australia but also returned as India’s leading wicket-taker of the series – he snared 13 wickets in 3 matches including a fifer at the Gabba.
Mohammed Siraj is selected for the forthcoming home series against England – with Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma in the squad, it would be interesting to see if India opts for a third pacer – which is rarely the case in Asian conditions – in Mohammed Siraj.
“I knew this was going to be a crucial season for me as I had not done that well in the IPL last year. Hence, during the lockdown, I worked harder on my bowling. I did a lot of practice by bowling at a single stump,” Mohammed Siraj revealed.