London: Pace bowler Mohammed Siraj came close to taking a hat-trick in the first over after tea on the second day of the second Test, removing Dominic Sibley and Haseeb Hameed on successive deliveries. The two quick wickets pegged back England as they looked to match India’s 364 in first innings.
The England openers had got off to a sedate start and ensured that they went into tea at 23/0. However, Siraj, who was brought in as second change got Sibley off just the second ball after tea, forcing him to chip to short mid-wicket. He then bowled a straight delivery that moved away as Hameed, who is making a comeback to the Test side, played the wrong line and was bowled.
England skipper Joe Root, however, negotiated the hat-trick ball. Had Siraj taken the hat-trick, he would have become the fourth Indian to take hat-trick in Test cricket after Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan and Jasprit Bumrah.
The 27-year-old Siraj, who has been playing domestic cricket for some years now, burst into international limelight after ending as India’s top wicket-taker in Australia with 13 scalps from three matches. He also bowled the most number of overs by an Indian pacer during that series.