'Gave me great satisfaction': Mohammed Siraj reveals how he 'planned' for Joe Root's wicket in 4th Test
Amid all the trickeries of India spinners Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin that once again brought about the downfall of the England batsmen in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad, pacer Mohammed Siraj managed to hold his own with his aggressive bowling.
After England won the toss and opted to bat on a pretty good wicket on Day 1, Siraj gave India the vital wickets of the opposition skipper Joe Root and a well-set Jonny Bairstow to help out the spinners.
Siraj, who gave Root a hard time early on with his away going deliveries, said the wicket of the England captain gave him great satisfaction as he had set Root up.
"I wanted to set Root up bowling away going deliveries. And then I thought during the start of a new over, I should bring one back in. I could execute it as I had planned and it gave me great satisfaction. Mazaa aa gaya (It was fun)," Siraj said about dismissal which left England reeling at 30 for 3.
Just when it was looking like England are slowly fighting their way back in the Test through a partnership between Bairstow and Ben Stokes, Siraj struck again after lunch to dismiss Jonny Bairstow.
"Bairstow, I wasn't bowling him at a lot of pace at the start. ...but whatever footages I have seen of him, he gets out to in-swinging deliveries. So I wanted to bowl in one area and bring it back consistently and it worked," he said.
Siraj got both Root and Bairstow LBW with deliveries that came back in sharply from good length.
His skipper Virat Kohli on the day mostly used him in short bursts and the plan was to hit one area consistently in order to create pressure.
"Since the time of Ranji Trophy, we learnt one thing that we have to bowl good areas and especially one area without trying too many things. It's all about being patient.
"Virat bhai just told me to bowl one area and try build the pressure. Ishant bhai also said that don't try too many things because when you build pressure, then automatically you get wickets." Siraj said there wasn't much reverse swing on offer and Kohli had made it clear that fast bowlers would bowl from one end. "It was only normal swing at play. So we knew that fast bowlers will bowl from one end." He is happy that whether it was Ajinkya Rahane in Australia or Kohli over here, he has consistently received encouragement and backing.
"As a player, captain's backing is very important. If captain backs a player, you get a lot of boost and can do extraordinary things." As far as the pitch is concerned, what Siraj said would certainly not be music to England batsmen's ears.
"This is a fantastic batting wicket," he said.
(With PTI inputs)