Team India: “He knows his strength is to hit the wicket”

Former Team India keeper-batter Parthiv Patel has praised pacer Mohammed Siraj for sticking to his strengths in the Napier T20I against New Zealand on Tuesday, November 22. Patel attributed the fast bowler’s success in the match to unwavering discipline with the ball.

Siraj was named Player of the Match for his career-best T20I figures of 4/17 in the third T20I against the Kiwis. The 28-year-old dismissed Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, and Mitchell Santner as the hosts were bowled out for 160 after winning the toss and batting first.

The Men in Blue were 75/4 in nine overs in the chase when the match was called off. Since India’s score was the same as the D/L par score, the game was declared a tie. Siraj was clearly the standout performer in the match. Reflecting on his performance, Patel told Cricbuzz during a discussion:

“Siraj was brilliant with his bowling. He knows his strength is to hit the wicket with the seam and that’s exactly when he was doing.

“Sometimes, when the slog overs start, as bowlers, you can get carried away with bowling those yorkers and bouncers. But he kept hitting those lengths, which were difficult to hit. That’s the reason why you see those figures. Well done (to him).”

Apart from Siraj, left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh also had an impressive match, claiming 4/37. At one point in their innings, the Kiwis were 130 for two but ended up losing eight wickets for 30 runs.

“He was aggressive and brave” – Patel on Siraj’s four-fer

Elaborating on Siraj’s bowling effort in Napier, Patel described his performance as aggressive and brave. He commented:

“What I really liked about Siraj’s attitude today was he was aggressive and brave. That’s something which you always have to do. Sticking to his strengths was key for Siraj today. That is the reason he got those results.”

Speaking after winning the Player of the Match, Siraj admitted that the wicket wasn’t easy to bat, adding that he was prepared to bowl hard lengths and reap the rewards. The Indian pacer said:

“I prepared myself to bowl hard lengths and had so much practice during World Cup and I just executed my plans. I always keep it simple. Just bowl the hard lengths.”

While the Napier T20I ended in a tie, India clinched the series 1-0, having won the second match in Mount Maunganui on Sunday by 65 runs.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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