"He Is A Warrior": Mohammed Siraj On Star India Batter
ENG vs IND: India pacer Mohammed Siraj termed Cheteshwar Pujara a warrior after the batter registered a half-century on Day 3 of the ongoing Edgbaston Test.
Jasprit Bumrah-led Team India are on top in the ongoing Edgbaston Test against England after extending their lead to 257 runs on Day 3. Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant are currently unbeaten at the crease on 50 and 30, respectively. India gained an upper hand after bundling out England for 284 in the first innings, taking a lead of 132. Mohammed Siraj was the pick of the bowlers for India as he scalped four wickets. Speaking to reporters after the close of play on Day 3, Siraj talked about his mindset, the pitch conditions and he even termed Pujara a "warrior".
"He (Pujara) is a warrior. In Australia, he did it and here also, he is doing the job. Whenever the team requires, he always stands up. When the tough situation arises, he is always there to do the job. Exactly, bowling to him is difficult, he does not attack much and just keeps on leaving balls so that can get irritating in the nets," said Siraj during a press conference.
When asked about stand-in captain Jasprit Bumrah who took three wickets in the first innings, Siraj said: "As a player and as a captain, he has been the same. He is always supportive and is always there to help me out. Whenever I do wrong, he tries to make me understand what to bowl in certain situations."
For England, it was Jonny Bairstow who stood out with the bat as he played a knock of 106 off 140 balls with the help of 14 fours and 2 sixes.
"As bowlers, we had to just keep patience. Bairstow is in form and he has been continuously playing attacking batting since the New Zealand series. So, we were aware his confidence was high. Our simple plan was to stick to our basics and, no matter what he did for us, it was a matter of one ball, be it an inswinger or seaming in off the pitch," said Siraj.
"When we saw the New Zealand series, we realised that our every bowler is 140-plus and they (New Zealand bowlers) didn't have that. We had that ability and also, we also had played against England last year. So that was our plus point, as were aware of their weak points and that is why we got the success," he further stated.
Talking about the pitch conditions, Siraj said: "In the first innings, the pitch was helpful to begin with, but after that it became flatter. So our only plan was to bowl in one area consistently. Also, the more effort balls we could deliver, then it would be effective for the bowlers. If we took it easy, then we would end up leaking runs. The ball is now keeping low, so in the second innings it will definitely help us."