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'It was a late call to give Siraj the new ball'

Source: PTI
October 22, 2020 00:03 IST
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Mohammed Siraj

IMAGE: Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Mohammed Siraj was an easy choice for the Man-of-the-match award after returning astonishing figures of 4-2-8-3 against Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL match in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Mohammed Siraj's furious spell upfront tore apart Kolkata Knight Riders's batting line-up, but Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli revealed that the seamer initially did not figure in their plans to open the attack in the IPL match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.


Siraj, who replaced Shahbaz Ahmed in the Royal Challengers playing eleven, took three wickets in a rare two wicket-maiden overs spell to decisively turn the match his team's way.

He returned astonishing figures of 4-2-8-3 and was an easy choice for the Man-of-the-match award.

"It was a late call to be honest (to give Siraj the new ball). It was a good toss to lose because we would have batted first. The plan was to bowl Washy (Washington Sundar) and Morry (Chris Morris), but then we thought let's go Morris and Siraj," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"Last year Siraj had a tough year and a lot of people went hard at him. This year he has worked hard and was bowling well in the nets. He has seen the results now but we want him to keep following the process," he added, further praising his fast bowler.

Siraj himself said his hard work paid off.

"Thanks to Virat for giving me the new ball. I have been practising a lot with the new ball. We hadn't planned that I will open, but when we went out Virat bhai asked me to be ready," he said.

Siraj was extremely pleased that his strategy to dismiss Nitish Rana worked.

"The ball to Rana was very good. Executed exactly what I had planned," he said, referring to the deceptive field set up that trapped the batsman.

RCB are much-improved and dominant this season and the India skipper credited it to a new "culture" in the side.

"The management has set in a culture where there is proper planning. It is not random. We have a Plan A, we have a Plan B, we have a Plan C. We are here to execute the plans we have in place. We did a few things at the auction too, which is paying off.

"You can have all the plans, but you have to have belief. Morry is living the responsibility. He is the guy who likes to take the leadership role. His energy is amazing. He can contribute with the bat, ball and in the field."

KKR skipper Eoin Morgan said they did not put up resistance and that was "disappointing".

"RCB bowled well, but we should have countered that better. And with that dew, we probably should have bowled first."

Morgan also expressed hope that Andre Russell and Sunil Narine "will be fit and available around the corner".

"Two guys of that calibre, particularly when they are all-rounders, is a big hole. Hopefully they will be available down the line."

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