Picked in India's Test squad for the fifth rescheduled Test against England to be played in Birmingham from July 1-5, pacer Mohd Siraj feels he will have to work hard in the next few weeks on his form and fitness to bowl consistently long spells in the five-day game. Siraj has had an indifferent Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season for Royal Challengers Bangalore and is looking to make a strong comeback with the red ball.
With the T20 World Cup scheduled in Australia later this year, Siraj will be hoping to do well enough in England to get a chance in white-ball cricket too. "This season the IPL was a bit down. The last two seasons my graph was up and this time it has come down. But then I see what I have done in the past two years and take that along. This year was a bad phase for me but I will make a strong comeback by working hard. I will work on my ability, and believe in my strengths," Siraj told the media on the sidelines of an event in Mumbai on Wednesday evening.
The Indian pacer was the star performer for India in Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020/21 against Australia with a five-wicket haul in the second innings of the fourth and final Test. India won the series 2-1 and the series will now feature in an upcoming documentary web series 'Bandon Mein tha Dum'. Siraj said he is looking forward to bowling with the Dukes ball in the fifth and last match of the Pataudi Trophy 2021/22 series, which was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp.
The Hyderabad pacer says the fifth and final game of the series that India are leading 2-1 will be very important keeping in mind the World Test Championship scenario. "My preparations are going well for the Test. There in England, the Dukes ball is used, it is always good to bowl there in the English conditions and it is helpful for the bowlers. This Test is very important for us and we are leading 2-1. It is good that the Test has been rescheduled and we are confident (of doing well) as we have the lead, it is a good feeling," he added.
He said he will be preparing for the series near his home in Hyderabad. "I will be training at the ground near my house and working on my fitness. Moving from T20 to Test is a big change and to bowl those long spells in Test cricket, I need to work on my consistency and depend on my strength," said Siraj.