Edgbaston: “It was a memorable series in Australia (in 2020-21). This will also be memorable (if we win),” Mohammed Siraj told media after the third day’s play in the fifth and final Test against England.
The Hyderabad fast bowler took four wickets for 66 in the home side’s first innings to emerge as India’s most successful bowler. India is leading 2-1 in the series. A victory in the current match will ensure a series triumph.
Revealing India’s thinking while bowling, he said: “We had to be patient given (Jonny) Bairstow’s form.”
He added it was an advantage that India had “140 km plus bowlers”.
Referring to the second day when it rained frequently to cause stoppages in play, he admitted: “Rain gives rest to the bowlers. This is very good for fast bowlers.”
In Siraj’s opinion there was no reverse swing available for the Indian bowlers. However, he indicated the “ball was keeping low” — this could be an advantage for India as the match progresses.
He said as long as the ball was swinging or seaming he was bowling an outside the off-stump line. But he switched to bowling straighter when the ball was wasn’t moving that much.
About Cheteshwar Pujara, who was unbeaten on a half century in India’s second innings, he added: “He is a warrior.”
After bowling England out for 284 runs, India were 124 for three at close, giving them an overall lead of 257 runs, with two days play remaining.
The star of the England batting, Bairstow, answering questions from media, said: “I am just watching the ball. I have never been a great technician.” He completed his third century in consecutive tests on Sunday. This time 106, following up from his hundreds against New Zealand.
Describing India as a “fantastic team”, the Yorkshire batsman asserted: “We are going to chase whatever we are set. We are trying to entertain people. In doing so we are going to lose a few games. It can only be good for the game.”
He felt the pitch in this test was quicker than the ones in England’s series with New Zealand.