‘You only have the ball and you can just bowl’ : Jasprit Bumrah to Mohammed Siraj post a form slump

While Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been out of international cricket after a back injury, the Mumbai pacer has been the go to bowler for advice for pacer Mohammed Siraj. The 29-year-old Hyderabad pacer, who played in the first three Test matches of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar trophy, recalled his conversation with Bumrah post.a slump in his form and the Mumbai pacer advising him to stay ahead of the batsmen.

“I called Jassi bhai (Jasprit Bumrah) and told him what was happening to me. What can I do better? He told me performance is not in your hands. You only have the ball and you can just bowl. Just think of your last season and evaluate. How batters are playing against you? You watch the videos of a batsman and see how he plays you. You have to be a step ahead of them. That’s when we will have success. We cannot rely on past glories alone. You watch videos but learn to stay ahead of the batsman. How you prepare yourself ahead of the match is important,” recalled Siraj, speaking on RCB podcast.

The 29-year-old pacer was the main pacer for the Indian team along with Mohammed Shami in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy after Bumrah was ruled out of the series. Siraj, who has taken a total of 47 wickets in 18 Test matches in his career, took only one wicket in the three Tests in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy before he was replaced by Shami in the ongoing fourth Test.

Siraj also talked about the healthy competition among the pacers in the Indian team and how it motivates him. “When we were in England, Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami bhai were telling me what length works on those pitches. Where does it seams or swing from? When you learn things, there is a huge improvement in skill. As a bowler, it’s important to keep improving and keep learning. I take a look in my game to see what I planned, and whether I managed to execute it or not. Performance is secondary. Did the ball land where I wanted it to land? If it didn’t, what was the reason behind it? This is the conversation which I have with myself after every game and then I work on those shortcomings and try to execute them in the next match” said Siraj.

The pacer, who made his Test debut against Australia in 2020, had claimed a total of 13 wickets including a five-wicket haul in the second innings in the fourth Test in Brisbane during India’s historic 2-1 win in January 2021 in Australia. The pacer had lost his father Mohammed Gous while he was playing in Australia and the 29-year-old recalled how the then-Indian coach Ravi Shastri told him that he will take a five-for in the series.

“ When my dad passed away I went to practice the next day. Ravi sir told me “You would take five wickets in this series, this is your father blessing”. When I took five wickets in Brisbane, he told me during team dinner what he had told me about the five-wicket haul. It was my father’s dream to see me play for India and I dedicate everything in my career to him,” said Siraj.

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