India pacer Mohammed Siraj, who sent back both these batsmen, has revealed that skipper Rohit Sharma and senior batter Virat Kohli had a role to play in the first wicket he took, giving him the confidence to capture the crucial wicket of Babar, which started the collapse. He ended the match with figures of 2-50.
Siraj trapped Shafique lbw with a delivery that was pitched up and kept low to trap him plumb in front.
“Abdullah Shafique’s wicket was a plan because I had spoken to Rohit Bhai — I had bowled a bouncer to him before but he got stuck in the middle. Then I talked to Rohit for a while and spent some time there. He thought I was going to bowl bouncer again. He was on backfoot and I pitched the ball up and got a good success,” Siraj informed during the post-match press conference on Saturday.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli discussed before the ball was given to Siraj who went on to take the first wicket for India.
Siraj said not only him but the entire team is benefitting from the suggestions and encouragement received from both of them.
“What can I say? Whatever point [information]you get from a senior player it helps the whole team; it is meant for the whole team not just one player. Because when the team wins, not just one person, the whole team wins the World Cup. So, if everyone shares their experience, it is helpful for the team,” said Siraj.
The 29-year-old pacer from Hyderabad did not have a lot of success in the previous two matches in the World Cup against Afghanistan (0-76) and Australia (1-26) but said he did not lose his confidence.
“When we go to the office you also have a day off – it cannot always be the same performance every time, the graph always comes down. So, I think to myself that I am not a bad bowler because of one match. I always keep my confidence high that my bowling is good and I should be the number one bowler. This confidence helps me in bowling and I can’t be a bad bowler if I lose a match. I have backed myself to do that. I have got the result today,” said Siraj.
Siraj, who got his wickets by bowling cross-seam, said he decided to do that from the third over as he expected to extract extra bounce.
“I started from 3rd over. Because in the end, there could have been chances of reverse. Because when I was crossing the seam, it was coming easy on the bat. The batsman was not struggling. The ball was coming easy.
“So, I thought, this wicket has a lot of cross-seam because it can be low, sometimes you get an extra bounce, so you get the bounce and if you get the wicket, that’s very good and you have seen the result,” he said.