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‘These Things Happen In Sport’ – Mohammed Siraj Brushes Aside Ben Stokes ‘Non-Issue’

Mohammed Siraj, at the conclusion of Day 1, has stated that the altercation with Ben Stokes is a non-issue and these things normally happen in sports. Siraj has further delved deep into the dismissals of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow and how he got the better of the Yorkshire batsmen in Ahmedabad.

After the success in the Australia series, Mohammed Siraj suddenly became a force to be reckoned with and a star name among all followers but his toil goes back to the time of domestic cricket where he has been one of the most consistent performers over the years.

In Ahmedabad, with the conditions offering a decent amount of swing, Siraj stole the show by dismissing Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow and helped India bundle England out for a paltry total of 205 runs in the first innings. On being asked about that, Siraj stated that Virat Kohli asked him to keep things simple to build pressure on the Englishmen.

“The more you keep on trying in domestic cricket, you will always be successful. That was my biggest learning from playing years of Ranji and A matches. Virat Bhai told me, you keep on building pressure by landing in one area. The less we try and keep it simple, the more effective in India,” Siraj said in the post-match press conference.

“I just wanted to set Joe Root up. I wanted to bowl outside, outside and then bring one in. It worked actually. I was really happy after that wicket. During lunch, Virat Bhai told me there was a chance for reverse swing. So we would continue with fast bowlers from one end. So you guys keep on building the pressure from one end,” the Hyderabad pacer added.

In Sydney, a racial abuse hurled by a section of fans saw Siraj complaining straight away and even forced the game to stop for a while. It was an incident that saw the pacer creating an example for himself and it was quite clear that nobody would get away by throwing an abuse.

In Ahmedabad too, he was, once again, at the centre of another verbal abuse from Ben Stokes, which he immediately brought up with Virat Kohli and the Indian skipper confronted Stokes on the same. However, it seems they have made up for it, with Siraj saying that it was a non-issue as these things normally happen in sports.

“It happens in sport. He sledged me and instantly I told that to Virat Kohli. These things keep on happening in sports. It is a non issue actually.”

Siraj bowled a 146 KPH bullet to Jonny Bairstow on the first ball of his new spell and that brought curtains down on the English batsman’s innings. When asked how he planned that dismissal, the RCB pacer claimed that he knew Bairstow’s weakness by watching a lot of videos beforehand.

“We have studied Jonny Bairstow’s videos and we have seen a pattern that he normally gets out to inswinging balls. Thus I wanted to keep it that way and try to dismiss him. Thankfully the plan worked.”

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