Mohammed Siraj had planned it all down to the smallest of details: how he’d remove the Sri Lankan captain out of the equation and complete his first ODI fifer. Bowling with the new ball in the powerplay during the 2023 Asia Cup Final, the 29-year-old had wreaked havoc in his second over by grabbing four wickets to leave Sri Lanka tottering for 12/5.
In his third over, he’d set up Dasun Shanaka to committing for a flick shot across the middle stump line only to deceive him with a leg breaker that bashed his off stump. Speaking about the same to Kuldeep Yadav in a new BCCI video, Siraj explained the latest weapon in his arsenal and how it helped him claim a fifth wicket. “In West Indies, I my outswing from wide of the crease was going well, so I tried the inswing from wide of the crease. Jo dimag mey plan kiya, wo perfect….same waise hi hua (It all went as I had planned it). It was my best wicket till date,” Siraj said.
Deemed player of the match in the final, Siraj would finish with his best ever ODI figures – 6/21 – as India won their eighth Asia Cup title with a 10-wicket drubbing of the hosts in the Sri Lankan capital.
Of Miyan Magic 🪄 &. that Siuuuuu celebrations 👌
Outfoxing the batters – the Kuldeep Yadav way 💪
In conversation with bowling heroes Mohd. Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav 🙌🙌 – By @RajalArora
FULL INTERVIEW 🎥 🔽 #INDvSL
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 18, 2023
“To be honest today’s spell was magical. I have never thought that I will bowl such a spell. Last time in Sri Lanka, when we played in Trivandrum I bagged four wickets in four overs but I didn’t got that fifth wicket. Two matches we played here, I was bowling well, beating the edge but was not finding the edges,” Siraj added 0n his spell.
Having been called to bowl first by Sri Lanka, Jasprit Bumrah provided India with a maiden breakthrough in the first over. Siraj however, would nab four wickets in the fourth over.
“The first ball I bowled and when I released the ball I got swing. I thought that on this wicket you don’t need to hit the deck, you just had to release the ball at one spot. That was my plan,” Siraj said.
Kuldeep shares new tweak
While Siraj was the player of the match for India, Kuldeep Yadav finished the Asia Cup as the player of the tournament. The left-arm chinaman spinner clinched nine wickets in the competition.
Elaborating on his preparation going into the tournament, Kuldeep told Siraj, “I also read wicket like you. For me length is important. I am also trying to read batters mind and what is he trying to anticipate. I am using my wrong un and flipper, while using the crease. I have got confidence with this rhythm.”
Kuldeep would also share details on his wrong’un. “I have worked well (on it) for past one and half year. I am in very good rhythm. When I started I was not getting the rhythm but now everything is smooth. I am getting then perfect speed as well.
Having nabbed nine wickets off less than 30 overs of bowling, when asked by Siraj how he felt on not being able to bowl his full trot during the final when India restricted Sri Lanka in the 16th over, Kuldeep would conclude by stating, “The way you bowled in the final. You deserved all the wickets.”