In a heroic display of performance on the fourth day of the Brisbane test between India and Australia, Indian right-arm pacer Mohammad Siraj gave a brilliant finish to the fourth day. Even in the absence of spearhead bowler Jasprit Bumrah, Siraj ensured that they do not lag.
Leading the Indian bowling attack, the newcomer speedster scalped his first-ever five-wicket haul in Test cricket. Conceding only 73 runs, Siraj picked up five wickets in the 19.5 overs he bowled during Australia’s second innings. The outstanding attacks limited the host’s innings at 294 runs.
The pacer credited his domestic cricket experience for his confidence that helped him pick-up his maiden five-wicket haul.
“No. not like a senior bowler but the games I played for India and the domestic cricket experience helped me gain some confidence for the matches,” Siraj said during a virtual press conference after the end of the fourth day.
India currently needs 324 runs to clinch the victory. Siraj says he that if he gets the opportunity, he will try to contribute as much as he can through his batting as well.
Speaking on their injury woes, he heaped praises for his teammates for fighting back stronger than ever, especially youngsters Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, and T Natarajan. Thakur also played a pivotal role in bundling Australia at 294 runs by scalping four important wickets.
“If I get a chance, I will bat for India but the goal is to win the series. After so many injuries but still, we had fought back especially in the first innings. It is a proud moment to see how youngsters Shardul, Washington, and Natarajan are performing,” he said.
Siraj expressed his sincere gratitude to the stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane for providing him the opportunity to shine in the match.
“They all are grabbing the opportunities and I would like to thank Rahane who showed trust in me and the youngsters. He was constantly talking to me and he gave me confidence,” Siraj said, thanking Rahane.
Out of the 13 wickets he has picked over the series so far, Siraj said that Australian star batsman Steve Smith’s wicket was his favorite. He expressed that Smith’s wicket gave him a much-required boost of confidence in himself.
“In the whole series, I feel it would be Steve Smith’s wicket, there was an extra bounce from the area where I thought I will get it. He is the best batsman in the world and it gave me a lot of confidence, also the wicket of Marnus (Labuschagne), it boosted my confidence.”
Siraj hunted down all the aggressive batsmen during the second innings of Australia, including Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Starc, and finally, Josh Hazelwood.