India vs England, 4th Test: Ben Stokes abused me, Virat bhai handled it thereafter, reveals Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj revealed that Virat Kohli confronted Ben Stokes only after the England all-rounder hurled abuses at the pacer in the first session on Day 1 of the ongoing fourth Test between India and England on Thursday
Mohammed Siraj revealed that Virat Kohli confronted Ben Stokes only after the England all-rounder hurled abuses at the pacer in the first session on Day 1 of the ongoing fourth Test between India and England on Thursday.
The incident occurred after England captain Joe Root departed for a nine-ball five after opting to bat. Siraj bowled a fierce bouncer at Stokes and stared at the batsman, which irked the World Cup-winning cricketer. In response to that, Stokes reportedly uttered a few cuss words but Siraj chose not to react. The Indian skipper Kohli, instead, came in defence of his bowler and had a small altercation with Stokes. At a point, on-field umpire Nitin Menon had to intervene and separate the duo from arguing further.
"In Australia, or in India, wherever I bowl, I want to put 100% effort to bowl. Every ball, I tell myself, 'bowl properly.' Ben Stokes Mujhe gaali diya (abused me) so I told Virat Bhai about that. Virat Bhai handled it thereafter," Siraj was quoted, as saying in an interview at the end of Day 1's play on Thursday at the Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad.
The Hyderabad-based fast bowler, who opened the bowling along with senior pacer Ishant Sharma in the first innings, also pointed out that the pitch was inclined to batsmen on Thursday.
Siraj, however, was impressive with the ball, having bagged crucial wickets of Root and Jonny Bairstow. The 26-year-old Siraj induced a massive blow to the visitors on the opening day when he trapped their captain Root leg before wicket for five with an inswinger. While Bairstow looked persistent at the crease, was sent back soon after the lunch break for 28.
"Wicket is a batting wicket. The plan was to have patience. And wait for the ball that might come in. Virat was saying since we have only two quicks, the rotation was important. After bowling two overs, Virat said in the morning to replace Ishant at the other end. I was getting more movement there," added Siraj.
The Player of the Match from the previous Test, Axar Patel, once again was the stand out performer for the Indians as he picked four wickets, while his spin partners Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar bagged three and one wickets respectively. Siraj finished with 2 for 45 in his quota of 14 overs as England were bundled out for a below-par total of 205.
At stumps, India were 24 for 1, trailing England by 181 runs, with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara batting on eight and 15 respectively. Opening batsman Shubman Gill was dismissed on the third ball of India's innings for a duck. It was Gill's second duck in as many as four Test innings.