India's pace spearhead Mohammed Siraj has revealed the short-ball plan that got the better of Travis Head on day two of the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Kennington Oval. Siraj disclosed that the bouncer plan was meant for Head, regardless of if he got hit by it.
Siraj broke the mammoth 285-run stand between Steve Smith and Head as he fired a short-pitch ball to the latter. The left-hander tried to work it away to fine leg, but could only feather an edge to KS Bharat behind the stumps. As a result, he departed for 163.
Siraj, who finished with four first-innings wickets, admitted that India could have bowled better lines to Head early on and reaped the rewards on day two by sticking to their plan. The 29-year-old felt that Australia might have crossed 500 had there been more lapses from India.
"There was sticky bounce yesterday morning and seam movement. Thereafter, there was not enough swing from the six-metre length and batters were having it easy. Head batted extraordinarily as well. We could have bowled with better lines. We decided to bowl bouncer only to Head and if he gets hit from there then so be it. We stuck to it and got success. We built pressure and did not give too many runs which also helped. We used bouncers yesterday as well but the chances went in the gap. There were four-five chances off my bowling only. If we did not bowl well, Australia would have crossed 500," the Hyderabad-born cricketer told during a media interaction.
'It was nothing': Mohammed Siraj on throwing the ball at Steve Smith
When asked about his altercation with Smith, Siraj dismissed it as a regular incident and simply said he was enjoying himself out there.
Just after Smith crossed three figures, the right-hander pulled out of a delivery, irking Siraj, who threw the ball at the stumps.
"It was nothing. I was just enjoying. It is important to do that as it is a long day."
India slipped to 151-5 at Stumps, with Ajinkya Rahane and KS Bharat at the crease, facing a 318-run deficit.