Mohammed Siraj was praised by Mohammad Kaif for stepping up when India was under duress in the first ODI against New Zealand.
On January 18, in Hyderabad, the Men in Blue set a target of 350 runs for the Black Caps. Siraj then finished with a 4/46 in his 10 overs as the hosts dismissed Tom Latham and company for 337 to win by a slim 12-run margin.
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Kaif praised Mohammed Siraj for picking up Rohit Sharma’s phone when India was in trouble during a conversation on Star Sports, going on to explain:
“He had incredible bravery because the pressure he faced when he came in to bowl, which was at a crucial time when he took two wickets in one over, was enormous. In the last overs, Rohit Sharma was looking for a bowler to put his hand up since Bumrah was unavailable, but he was unsuccessful.”
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In the 42nd over of the Kiwi batting, Siraj only allowed four runs. Despite giving up 11 runs in the 44th over, he effectively recovered by taking two wickets in the final over to tip the match in India’s favor.
Mohammad Kaif praised Mohammed Siraj for overcoming his doubts:
Kaif commended Siraj for overcoming any doubts he may have had at the peak of his ascent, stating:
“You may be in excellent shape, but when you run with the ball, you’re not sure whether to bowl yorkers or slower balls. He bowled a bouncer and trapped Santner there. With bouncers, he took three important wickets.”
Kaif concluded by thanking Siraj for demonstrating his capacity to quickly change the outcome of a game, saying:
“He removed Conway with a bouncer, followed by Latham and Santner, who were already set. The next over saw two wickets fall. It demonstrates Mohammed Siraj’s capacity to turn the tide of a match in a single over.”
Devon Conway and Tom Latham were caught in the deep off brief deliveries by Siraj. With his subsequent legal delivery, he castrated Henry Shipley after dismissing Santner with another short ball.
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