Curated By: Aakash Biswas
Last Updated: September 18, 2023, 09:03 IST
Mohammed Siraj wreaked havoc at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo when India took on Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023 final on Sunday. After losing the toss, skipper Rohit Sharma stated that he would have liked to bat first as the track looked dry. But what unfolded thereafter has gotten a special mention in the history of Indian cricket.
Swinging the ball on a flat deck requires a special skillset and the 29-year-old pacer from Hyderabad certainly proved that he hones them all. Sri Lanka were dealt one blow after as Siraj led India’s charge against co-hosts in the summit clash. The right-arm quick returned magical figures of 6/21 in 7 overs, helping India bundle out the Lankans for 50 runs; their second-lowest total in the ODIs.
Rohit enjoyed every bit of Siraj’s breathtaking spell from the slip cordon. The latter wasn’t willing to stop even after bowling 7 overs in a row. In fact, the captain wanted Siraj to continue but there was a strict message from the dressing room – ‘stop Siraj’.
While addressing the post-match presser in Colombo on Sunday, Rohit revealed that the coaching staff passed on a message that Siraj must be stopped after he had bowled 7 overs on the trot.
“It was pleasing to watch from slips. The guys were running hard and bowling quick. All three placer bent their backs really and Siraj got to move the ball a lot more than others. But everyone can’t be a hero every day. Every different day, a different hero will stand up. And it was Siraj’s day.” Rohit told the reporters.
“He bowled 7 overs in that spell. 7 overs are a lot. I wanted him to bowl but I got a message from our trainer that we need to stop him. He was quite desperate to bowl but that’s the nature of any bowler or batter. When they see the opportunity, they want to pounce on it. But that’s where my job comes in and I wanted to make sure everything stays calm and don’t over exaggerate,” Rohit Sharma told the press after the match.
This wasn’t the first time that Siraj had bowled a long spell in an ODI. Earlier in January, he had dented the Lankan batting line-up in the final ODI match of the 3-match series in Thiruvananthapuram and picked up 4 quick wickets.
“That’s the call. I remember he was in a similar situation against Sri Lanka in Trivandrum. He had taken 4 wickets and he had bowled some 8-9 overs on the trot, I think,” Sharma further added.