• Saturday, July 20, 2024

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With 6 wickets in kitty, why didn’t Mohammed Siraj bowl all 10 overs? Rohit Sharma explains

Siraj had taken five wickets in 16 balls and had the opportunity to register one of the best bowling figures in the history of one-day internationals.

India captain Rohit Sharma with fast bowler Mohammed Siraj (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA captain Rohit Sharma was ecstatic after fast bowler Mohammed Siraj ripped through Sri Lanka’s batting order in the final of the Asia Cup 2023 at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday (17). The 29-year-old bowler took six wickets for 21 runs as the islanders were bowled out for 50 runs and India won the game by 10 wickets under seven overs.

In the post-match media conference, Sharma said he gets a lot of satisfaction to see fast bowlers delivering such a show and praised his set of pacers.

But then why didn’t he bowl out Siraj in the game while he was breathing fire? Siraj had knocked out six of the opponents’ top seven batters and had the world of opportunity to add more to his tally as the tailenders were facing him and register one of the best bowling figures in the history of one-day internationals.

Sharma said the pacer was intending to bowl more but it was a word of caution from the team trainer that made him hold Siraj back.

“It was very pleasing to watch from the slips (how Siraj bowled). He got the ball to move a bit more than the other two. We were riding behind him (Siraj) when he was bowling that spell,” Sharma said.

“He bowled seven overs in that spell, and I got a message from the trainer that we have to stop him now. He was quite desperate to bowl,” he added.

The captain said Siraj had bowled seven overs on the trot, something he had done against Sri Lanka in India in the recent past.

With the World Cup around the corner, the Indian side did not want to risk the bowler’s fitness.

Former Sri Lanka left-arm pacer Chaminda Vaas has the best bowling figure in ODIs — eight for 19 — against Zimbabwe in Colombo in 2001. For India, the best bowling figure remains with Stuart Binny, who took six wickets for four runs against Bangladesh in Mirpur in 2014.

India had a hectic schedule during the tournament, playing matches on three consecutive days as their match against Pakistan in the Super Four stage spilled over to the reserve day due to rain and played Sri Lanka the next day.

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