'Siraj and Pant played alone for 2 overs as Moeen was just playing and missing': Ashwin on India seamer's brilliance

  • Ashwin was particularly impressed with Siraj’s spell in the second innings to England all-rounder Moeen Ali. The veteran off-spinner said it seemed for a couple of overs only Siraj and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant were playing as Moeen kept playing and missing the deliveries.
'Siraj (in frame) and Pant played alone for 2 overs as Moeen was just playing and missing': Ashwin(AP)
'Siraj (in frame) and Pant played alone for 2 overs as Moeen was just playing and missing': Ashwin(AP)
Published on Aug 20, 2021 07:34 PM IST
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India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin may not have got his opportunity yet to play a Test match on this England tour but he has been observing each and every ball with a hawk’s eye. Decoding India seamer Mohammed Siraj’s success in the Lord’s Tests, Ashwin said the right-arm seamer was exceptional in using the slope of the ground.

Siraj, who was India’s best bowler even in the first innings of the Test match, put together an even better performance on the second innings that helped India bowl England out for 120 in just 51.5 overs and win the Test by 151 runs.

Ashwin was particularly impressed with Siraj’s spell in the second innings to England all-rounder Moeen Ali. The veteran off-spinner said it seemed for a couple of overs only Siraj and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant were playing as Moeen kept playing and missing the deliveries.

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“You got Siraj into the team telling he’s a fast bowler right? Then why is he bowling fast off-breaks? He’s running in from the slope and his cutters are like off-breaks. His bowling to Moeen Ali was exceptional.

"Rishabh Pant and Siraj alone played cricket for 2 overs (because Moeen kept playing and missing),” Ashwin told fielding coach R Sridhar on his YouTube channel.

Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler were building some sort of a partnership when Siraj came in and got the wicket of Ali and followed that up by sending back Sam Curran for a golden duck to bring India within touching distance of a famous victory on the final day.

“How is he able to use the slope so effectively. Not even one ball pitched on the seam. How is he able to do that?” Asked Ashwin.

Sridhar then replied that Siraj has been bowling with the scrambled seam only to get more purchase with the slope.

“He’s bowling scrambled seam only. He’s rolling his fingers on the ball because it’s like a newfound toy for him.

“What energy man! Infectious! Kept on charging in and bowled brilliantly using the slope. If left-handers found him, they had no chance,” he said.


Siraj picked up four more wickets in the second innings and returned with an eight-wicket haul in the match.

India would be hoping that the man from Hyderabad can repeat the same when two sides meet for the third Test at Headingley starting on August 25.

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