File image of Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma and Pakistan skipper Babar Azam.© Twitter
Indian cricket team is riding a high now. After a stupendous performance at the Asia Cup 2023, where the Rohit sharma-led side triumphed after a commanding 10-wicket win against hosts Sri Lanka in Colombo, the group will be feeling confident going into the cricket World Cup. Mohammed Siraj‘s fiery spell shot out the Lankans for a mere 50 in 15.2 overs, aided by fellow pacers Hardik Pandya (3 for 3) and Jasprit Bumrah (1 for 23), while the Indians got the job done with 10 wickets in hand in 6.1 overs.
On the same day, Pakistan were crowned world No. 1 in ICC ODI ranking with South Africa defeating Australia in the fifth ODI. However, Pakistan stay at the top may be short-lived with India replacing them at the top. For that to happen, certain factors need to fall in place.
India next play an ODI on Friday against Australia. Before that, England play Ireland Bangladesh play New Zealand. The results of those matches won’t affect India’s ranking. If India defeat Australia in the first ODI, they will become the no. 1 side. Even if India win the series 2-1, they will still remain the no. 1 ODI side.
Meanwhile, India’s man of the moment Mohammed Siraj, has opened up on his magical spell of 6/21 in the Asia Cup final. Siraj dismissed Pathum Nissanka, Sadeera Samaraiwickrama, Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya De Silva in his second over before returning to clean up Lankan skipper Dasun Shanka with a peach of a delivery.
“I had practised a lot on generating out-swing deliveries from wide of the crease in West Indies. My outswingers were going well. So I tried from the wide of the crease to push for inswing (which will move away after pitching),” Siraj told bcci.tv.
“So what I planned, what I had in mind, it turned out to be absolutely perfect and it was my best wicket of the game,” Siraj said in an interaction with Indian teammate Kuldeep Yadav.
With less than a month to go for the World Cup, Siraj said his spell in the Asia Cup Final would give him a lot of confidence heading into the mega event.
“It’s a great achievement for me, especially since it’s the final. It will help me gain a lot of confidence before the (ODI) World Cup,” he said.
“To be honest, it was a magical spell, as I had never dreamt about it. I had to struggle hard to gain the fifth wicket in the last ODI against Lanka in Trivandrum, which never came. But, it all worked out today (Sunday).
“In my first spell, the moment I saw I was able to swing the ball, I realised that I didn’t need to hit the wicket. I just intended on bowling at a particular spot and make the ball talk.”
With PTI inputs
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