Watch: 'Frustrated' Siraj throws ball back in anger after Smith stops him in delivery stride, Gavaskar lashes out
Mohammed Siraj was not please as Steve Smith backed away, forcing Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar to react strongly.
India began Day 2 of the World Test Championship final pretty much the way they ended Day 1: Erratic. For a bowling team, if there is ever a good time to strike, it is the opening hour of a new day. to rit was far from the case as Travis Head and Steve Smith continued to frustrate the opposition. Smith completed his 31st Test century, while Travis Head reached his 150 as India's pace-bowling duo of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj looked out of options.
Then first over of the day was wayward itself, with Mohammed Siraj gifting Smith back-to-back half-volleys, allowing the former Australia captain to cream consecutive boundaries and reach the three-figure landmark. Such a lazy start did not impress Sunil Gavaskar one bit, who was clearly stunned and said: "What is happening? I mean these are the second and third deliveries of the day".
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The very next ball, as Siraj ran in to bowl, Smith pulled out at the lasty moment due to some issues with the Spider-cam. But Siraj wasn't having enough of it. Despite stopping in his delivery stride, Siraj threw the ball back at the stumps in frustration. Even as Smith tried to explain to Siraj the reason behind not playing the delivery, gesturing at the Spider-cam, the India quick was not impressed. The delivery before, Siraj had received a sounding off from his captain Rohit Sharma, and having to stop when he was really steaming in ticked him off even further.
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"Steve Smith just backing away. Didn't please Siraj but Smith had every right to move out of the way. It's more the frustration of Siraj being hit for two boundaries. He got sounded off by Rohit Sharma the previous ball," said Ravi Shastri on air.
The incident though proved to be a blessing in disguise for India, and Siraj more specifically. Fuelled by the Smith incident, Siraj started bending his back and was finally rewarded with the wicket of Head. Despite having Head in a spot with a barrage of short deliveries – one that had him hopping and the other skiing the ball with a mistimed pull – Siraj had his man out caught behind after a solid 163, ending a 285-run partnership.
India's lacklustre start with the ball caught Matthew Hayden by surprise too, who said, " "This was a start India didn't want! You don't want to give an inch to Steve Smith. It's a perfect delivery when you sit all night contemplating your hundred. A little juicy half volley on leg stump, thank you very much."