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Home » Sports » IPL 2024 » RCB, India Hopes Soar as Mohammed Siraj Rediscovers Swing and Fire

RCB, India Hopes Soar as Mohammed Siraj Rediscovers Swing and Fire

In the latest show of his metamorphosis, Siraj wrecked Gujarat Titans with a two-wicket burst in the Power Play, grabbing the wickets of Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha.

By Newsd
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RCB, India Hopes Soar as Mohammed Siraj Rediscovers Swing and Fire

The change in Mohammed Siraj’s fortunes has played a critical role in Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s late surge in this IPL, and the pacer’s good run might also have put the Indian thinktank at ease ahead of next month’s T20 World Cup.

In the latest show of his metamorphosis, Siraj wrecked Gujarat Titans with a two-wicket burst in the Power Play, grabbing the wickets of Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha.

Siraj’s figures at that stage was a superb 2-0-9-2, and as someone who is marked to share the new ball with Jasprit Bumrah in the ICC showpiece, it’s certainly a shot in the arm for the national team as well.

RCB assistant coach Adam Griffith, who has worked with Siraj for the last five years, placed that transformation to him ”swinging the ball again.” ”He’s the leader of our group. He’s played a lot for India in the last few years and has done really well. It’s not just him bowling well. It’s his aggression, his body language, him taking the batters on to try and get wickets is such an important part of what we’re trying to do.

”Having him up and going, swinging the ball again, bowling with good pace, and being aggressive is so important to us,” said Griffith in the post-match press meet here on Saturday after RCB defeated GT by four wickets.

The Royal Challengers bowling unit’s performance – a collective economy rate of 10.28 and 45 wickets – was the worst in this season of IPL.

In a way, it was Siraj’s responsibility to inspire the rest of the pack as the leader and he did put his hand up.

Perhaps, the nine-day break he was given between April 12 and 20 refreshed his mind and helped him regain his sharpness.

The match he missed in the interim was the one in which Sunrisers Hyderabad racked in an IPL record of 287 for three in Bengaluru.

Griffith explained the thought process behind giving some leisure time for Siraj.

”He’s like any other player when they are fatigued. It’s very important to give them that break. That’s just as important as the training component, sometimes even more important.

”He is a rhythm bowler – his run-up is so important to what he does. So, we want him fresh and running in hard,” he said.

Post his return from the break, Siraj played four matches against Kolkata Knight Riders, SRH and two against GT. While RCB lost by one-run against the Knight Riders in a high-scoring match, they won the other three.

In those three matches, Siraj had figures of 4-0-20-0, 4-0-34-1 and 4-0-29-2.

Griffith said Siraj has found a good balance between off-time and preparation.

“He knows his body really well. He knows what he needs to do to prepare and every now and then we might need to give him a little bit of a push in that direction.

“I’ve been with him now for five or so years, so I can tell when he’s going well and when he needs a rest,” he added.

This version of Siraj was a throwback to IPL 2023 when he picked up 19 wickets and 10 of them were in the Power Play.

The energy of Siraj seemed to have percolated to other bowlers too as the young Yash Dayal dished out a frugal and productive spell upfront – 4-0-21-2.

It meant that the Titans were restricted to the lowest Power Play score of this IPL season – 23/3.

Griffith said the RCB bowlers have collectively managed to hit a better line as they notched up three wins on the bounce.

“We’ve swung the ball all tournament upfront. We talked about bowling a lot straighter and attacking the stumps as much as we can to challenge the batters’ defence and make them play aggressive shots if they want to come at us.

“That’s the challenge for them to do and the boys put them exactly where we wanted them (against GT),” he explained.

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