Indian skipper Rohit Sharma heaped praise on Mohammed Siraj after the young pacer bowled a brilliant spell of 4/32 in the third and final ODI of the 3-match series against Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. Siraj was the highest wicket-taker in the series as he scalped 9 wickets in 3 matches. Mohammed Siraj was bidding to become the first Indian pacer since Zaheer Khan in 2007 to take a 5-for in men’s ODIs at home.
Mohammed Siraj took 4 wickets in the first 10 overs of Sri Lanka’s chase of 391, rattled the top-order with a fiery spell with the new ball. Captain Rohit Sharma stuck with Siraj even as Sri Lanka lost wickets at a rapid rate. Siraj offered 4 slips and a gully in his last few overs with Rohit. However, just after Siraj had completed his quota of overs, Kuldeep Yadav took the last Sri Lankan wicket to fall as the visitors were bowled out for 73, India winning by the biggest margin of 317 runs.
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During the post-match presentation, Mohammed Siraj said, “We tried everything but unfortunately it didn’t happen. But the four wickets are his and the five will come. He has a few tricks he is working on and His confidence remains to be seen.
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Rohit Sharma said the young fast bowler, who made his ODI debut in January 2019, is going from strength to strength fast and it augurs well for the team in the World Cup.
Mohammed Siraj shone in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, who has been out for the last few months due to injury. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer looks to scalp 24 wickets in 2022 and 9 more in 2023 to ensure he is one of the first names on the team sheet in the lead-up to the ODI World Cup.
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Elaborating on the same, Rohit Sharma said, “It was good to see how he (Siraj) was bowling and he deserved all those slips. He is a rare talent, it is good to see the way he has unfolded over the years. He has come from strength to strength and that is really good for Indian cricket.
Mohammed Siraj, who is not part of the scheme of things in T20Is, will be back for the ODI series against New Zealand starting January 18.