India vs England: 'Ideal delivery,' Sanjay Manjrekar explains how Mohammed Siraj set up Joe Root's wicket
India fast bowler Mohammed Siraj picked up a huge wicket on Day 1 of the fourth Test against England at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad. England skipper Joe Root's dismissal for just 5 was a huge blow to the visitors' hopes of getting some momentum after losing both openers cheaply. Siraj came into the team in place of fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah who had taken time off citing personal reasons.
But he ensured that India do not miss their primary fast bowler with a sensational scalp that showcased why he is slowly becoming a trusted customer for Virat Kohli.
Speaking on ESPNCricinfo, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar explains how Siraj set up Root's wicket.
"He is a fantastic bowler. There is some exciting Indian bowling talent that is coming through. Mohammed Siraj is one, Axar Patel is another, Shardul Thakur another young seamer who would have made a mark in this Test match as well. Not as much exciting batting talent coming through. But this is where Mohammed Siraj is good, and that is why I believe he could be a bowler for all conditions," Manjrekar said.
"This was a ball that was right up there, he got the ball to swing. I have always believed that against the guys who have this trigger movement, go right back before the ball is bowled and then make the adjustment. At the start of the innings, they are always vulnerable, whether it is Joe Root, or whether it is Hashim Amla, or whether it is Steve Waugh in the past. Anyone who has a trigger movement, if you put the ball there, just around full and if the ball does something, then you have a chance against these batsmen early on.
"Later, they obviously make the adjustments. It was ideal delivery for someone like Joe Root with that kind of trigger movement he has," Manjrekar said.
"You can see his natural calling is in Test cricket. There is some evidence that he is suited for longer format in the kind of numbers he has in Ranji cricket. He has excellent numbers considering the kind of surfaces we have in India. Excellent strike rate and average as well," the cricketer-turned-commentator added.
"It was better than Navdeep Saini as well, who is well behind the pecking order now. That's how Mohammed Siraj has gone ahead in the race for fast bowling unit for India, because of his ability to get wickets.
"It is not freakish, he just knows how to get wickets. It is something in white-ball cricket maybe we never see, or maybe he does not have the temperament that you need for white-ball cricket.
"The Joe Root dismissal also. The balls he bowled to him before that slightly fuller delivery were all short, and when he bowls short, the ball seams. When he bowls full, the ball swings. None of his deliveries are just straight off the pitch, which can sometimes happen with Ishant Sharma. There is lot to like about Siraj. That is why he has this wicket-taking ability. It comes from him knowing how to take wickets," Manjrekar said.