Hyderabad: On the eve of the highly-anticipated Test series against England, India fast-bowler Mohammed Siraj believes the matches may get over in one-and-a-half or two days if the visitors’ stick to their ‘Bazball’ style of play in the sub-continental conditions.
England last won a Test series in India 12 years ago, where Alastair Cook was the captain and spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, along with Kevin Pietersen played leading roles in the 2-1 triumph. In the 2021 tour, England had won the opening Test in Chennai, but lost next three games to lose the series 3-1 to India.
India are unbeaten in 16 home Test series after losing 2-1 to England in 2012. England, meanwhile, are yet to lose a Test series under the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum leadership group.
“If England play Bazball in Indian conditions, the match may get over within a day-and-a-half or two. It’s not easy to hit every time here as the ball turns sometimes and straightens on other occasions. So, I think it’ll be difficult to see Bazball here. But if they play it, it’ll be good for us as the match may get over quickly,” said Siraj to broadcasters JioCinema.
In India’s last Test against South Africa at Cape Town, which is also the shortest match in the history of the format, Siraj demolished the Proteas batters with an electrifying spell of 6-15. He was then rested from the T20Is against Afghanistan with an eye to prepare for the Tests against England.
“On their previous tour to India, the matches were getting over quickly. In that series (in 2021) I think I played two matches. In the first innings of one of these, I bowled five overs and took two wickets of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow.”
“So, the aim will be to control runs in how many ever overs I bowl. If I get wickets fine, but I’ll have to stay patient and continue building pressure on the batsmen. I am waiting for all our fans in Hyderabad to turn up for the game. We love them a lot and look forward to their support.”
Siraj also credited consistency in his performances for adapting well in different conditions and formats of the game. “I bowl with the new ball, so my line and length remain the same. I don’t change things whether it’s the white ball or the red ball. You have to bowl that length of five-six metres, because with the new ball, you have to pitch it up to get wickets.”
“If the ball doesn’t swing, you have to adjust the length slightly. So, I try to find consistency and keep pitching the new ball at the same spot. That’s what I focus on whether it’s the new ball or the old ball. That consistency has helped me take wickets till now.”
Speaking about the contrast in his nature on and off the field, Siraj said: “As a fast bowler, I get angry when someone hits me for a boundary. I feel like breaking their helmet or getting them out off the next ball. So, I ensure that I am always fired up in the middle and make the batsman feel scared.” IANS