Despite being disappointed for featuring in just one ODI in India’s recent limited-over series against Australia and New Zealand, seamer Mohammed Siraj said he learned a lot during the practice sessions. He said that the experience he gained while bowling at the nets has helped him perform well in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament and the speedster is looking to carry forward the same momentum in the upcoming IPL.
During an interaction with News 18, the 24-year-old cricketer said, “I had big shoes to fill of Bumrah. It’s was disappointing just to play in only one ODI, but I learned so much from taking part in the training sessions. I am feeling and bowling well and it is good to perform in the domestic circuit coming back from my stint with the Indian team.” He added, “Fitness is good and this tournament is ideal preparation for the IPL.”
He also said that skipper Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni backed him throughout the tour and passed vital inputs on how to bowl in different situations. “Kohli and (MS) Dhoni backed me throughout on these tours. They provided useful tips in the practice sessions there like how to bowl in different situations, which areas to bowl and what type of yorkers to bowl.”
“They (Kohli and Dhoni) spent time with all bowlers individually. Coaches (Bharat) Arun and Ravi (Shastri) sir’s inputs were also very good. They told me to bowl in the nets like I would bowl in match conditions and that helped me get a lot of focus. They instructed me not to try experiment too much, just bowl back of a length as much as possible.”
He stated that the biggest lesson he picked up from the New Zealand tour was how to bowl on smaller grounds. “The biggest lesson was learning how to bowl on smaller grounds of New Zealand, about which I got a lot of tips in the nets. We have to play in a lot of small grounds in the IPL as well and the things I learned in New Zealand will be very helpful.”
“The white ball doesn’t swing much normally, so it was a learning process as the balls moves for only 3-4 overs. It is important to maintain a good line and length on those surfaces,” Siraj said.
The youngster also praised Ashish Nehra for working on his bowling during the previous IPL season and is looking forward to meet the former Indian paceman at the RCB camp. “Nehra’s help is very important for me. He has helped me deal with my recent disappointments as he has handled those ups and downs in international cricket in his career. I am looking forward to meeting him again at the RCB camp and continue our interactions this season.”