'Got to take your hats off to him': Graeme Swann heaps praise on India bowler Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj’s exploits with the ball on Day 1 of the India vs England fourth Test match at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad surprised former England spinner Graeme Swann who was all praise for the India seamer.
Siraj gave India two important breakthroughs to help out spinners Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin who once again gave a hard time to England batsmen after they opted to bat first.
Swann said he knew there was bit in it for the seamers but he had no idea that it would be Siraj who would end up extracting the most out of it.
“I thought when England won the toss that this wicket might do a bit because there was bit of moisture in the ground but I didn’t expect Siraj to exploit it as well as he did. I obviously thought Sharma, who is a senior bowler (would do most of the damage) But Siraj was brilliant,” Swann in the post-match show on Star Sports.
Siraj set-up Root beautifully by bowling a few outswingers and then got one to jag back in sharply at good pace to trap the England captain in front. Swann hailed how Siraj trapped Root for 5 in the first session.
“He bowled with great pace and the way he set up Joe Root with a couple going away just around off the off stump and then after the drinks break, nipped the ball back in trapped Joe Root in front of the crease,” Swann added.
Siraj picked up another important wicket of Jonny Bairstow in the second session to break the threatening stand between him and Ben Stokes with another sharp in-dipper.
“The ball he got Jonny Bairstow with as well… What I Like about that was it was 10 km quicker than the previous delivery. It just beat for pace, beat him all ends up. It was just great bit of bowling. You got to take your hats off to him,” said Swann.
Swann, however, added that there was no need for Siraj to get into a verbal duel with Stokes.
“I’ve got to say he shouldn’t have got into the verbal with ben Stokes. It fired Stokes up. You don’t need to that. Just get on with your bowling. He’s a beautiful bowler, he just needs to concentrate on that,” added the former off-spinner.
India were 24 for 1 at stumps on Day 1 after bowling England out for 205 in the first innings.