Mohammed Siraj had a few exchanges with Australia’s Steve Smith on the first two days.© AFP
India pacer Mohammed Siraj on Thursday said the team planned to bowl only bouncers to Travis Head irrespective of the outcome after his counterattacking hundred on the opening day of the World Test Championship final. Head’s 163 off 174 balls has put Australia in a commanding position on the second day at the Oval. The Indians’ tactics of not using the short ball against Head was questioned on day one, forcing them to change their plans the following day. Siraj eventually got rid of him with a short ball on the leg side.
“There was sticky bounce yesterday morning and seam movement. Thereafter, there was not enough swing from the six metre length and batters were having it easy. Head batted extraordinarily as well. We could have bowled with better lines,” said Siraj, who was India’s standout bowler with four wickets in Australia’s first-innings total of 469 all out.
On throwing the ball back to Steve Smith after the Australia batter completed his hundred in the first over of the day, he added: “It was nothing. I was just enjoying. It is important to do that as it is a long day,” he added.
Siraj felt they got the required luck with the short ball on day two.
“We decided to bowl bouncer only to Head and if he get hit from there then so be it. We stuck to it and got success. We built pressure did not give too many runs that also helped. We used bouncers yesterday as well but the chances went in the gap.
“There were four-five chances off my bowling only. If we did not bowl well, Australia would have crossed 500,” he said.
Siraj added that the wicket had more pace and uneven bounce on day two.
“There is more pace in the wicket and there is uneven bounce. We also bowled well but the way Head batted he forced us to push our lengths back.”
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