Fast bowler Mohammed Siraj on Thursday was one of the crucial factors for India sitting in the drivers' seat on day two of ongoing first Test against Bangladesh at Chattogram.
Apart from an all-round performance by Kuldeep Yadav (40 runs with bat and 4/33 with the ball) and an important 58 from Ravichandran Ashwin, Siraj burst through the Bangladesh top-order to register figures of 3/14 in nine overs.
He stated that bowling to a stump-to-stump line at one area consistently was his recipe for success at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. "My approach was to deliver the ball consistently at one area because the pitch is such that if you try a lot, you stand to leak a lot of runs.
My plan was to hit stump-to-stump line consistently at one area and that I would get success." "What I feel is if one bowls stump-to-stump line, it would be better as the ball is keeping low and some turn is happening too for a spinner.
As a fast-bowler, stick to stump-to-stump line so that there are chances for lbw and bowled dismissals. If one gives width, then runs would be leaked," he said in the post-match press conference.
Siraj rocked Bangladesh by dismissing Najmul Hossain Shanto on the first ball of the innings, as keeper Rishabh Pant took a diving catch to his left. He then castled Litton Das, before claiming the scalp of debutant opener Zakir Hasan, who gave a simple catch behind to Pant.
"Red-ball has always been my favourite format. I bowl more consistently in red-ball as the urge to do a consistent line and length has been very helpful and it also helps in white-ball.
I only played one county match in Warwickshire and it was a pretty good experience. Again here, all bowlers maintained the pressure and credit goes to all of them," he added. Siraj also talked about his inswinger, which he bowls generally with a wobble seam.
"In 2018, the incoming ball had stopped and outswing had begun working. Then I was confused over why I wasn't getting to work my inswingers." "Then I bowled with wobble seam as inswing causes difficulty for a batter whereas in outswing, it is visible from the hand.
I then brought out this wobble seam, which is very much like an off-cutter type. So, I trust it a lot more and I get more success with that ball." For making India reach 404 from an overnight score of 278/6, Kuldeep shared a 92-run stand with Ashwin for the eighth wicket to take India to 404 in first innings.
They were also helped by a brace of sixes from Umesh Yadav through slog-sweeps and Siraj playing an uppish drive through extra cover for a boundary. "Now every tailender is practising the batting skills in practice.
The runs coming from the lower-order are very crucial for the team. So, due to that, everyone in that order is showing the intent to practice their batting in the net sessions in order to make runs in the match.
Because of it, everyone there are now showing performances with the bat," he stated. There was a moment in the match when Siraj and Litton Das exchanged some words. On the very next ball, Siraj responded by castling the batter, who has been one of the consistent players for Bangladesh in all formats this year.
Both Siraj and Virat Kohli have him a send-off by acting to listen. "I was saying to him, this is not a T20 format. It is Test cricket and please play sensible cricket," he concluded on what transpired in the exchange of words.