back icon


Trainer asked me to stop bowling Siraj after a seven-over spell: Rohit Sharma

Last updated on 17 Sep 2023 | 03:42 PM
Google News IconFollow Us
Trainer asked me to stop bowling Siraj after a seven-over spell: Rohit Sharma

In one of the most incisive spells of pace bowling, Siraj took four wickets in one over to reduce Sri Lanka to 12/6

When Rohit Sharma entered the press conference room at the R Premdasa Stadium in Colombo almost an hour after India’s Asia Cup victory, fireworks were still in plenty. So much so that Rohit had to stop himself mid-way from answering the first question and say, “Arey ruk jao, yaar. Hum World Cup jitne ke baad lagana (Hey, please stop. Burst the crackers after we win the World Cup). 

It just typified the kind of mental state that Rohit Sharma is in at the moment. Fresh from an incredible tournament, where they were subjected to varied challenges and mostly came out on top with flying colors, Rohit had many positive takeaways for him to be confident about India’s chances in the upcoming World Cup.

“The win gives us a lot of confidence to come here and win a tournament like this,” Rohit said. “At various stages of the tournament, we were given a lot of different challenges, and I’d like to believe that we stood up to that challenge. We can take many positives from the tournament in various conditions and bowling types. Not for one player but for the entire team. 

“A lot of positives. Some of our batters batted under pressure. In the first game against Pakistan, we were four down. But then Hardik and Ishan stood up for us brilliantly. 

“We wanted our middle order to get in there and bat. They wanted to bat. Against Pakistan, Kuldeep stepped up with five wickets, and Bumrah has been brilliant with the new ball with the bat, KL Rahul. Honestly, it was really tough for anyone to come like that within a five-minute notice, and that shows how mentally he is ready to take the challenges. Throughout the tournament, many players stood up and performed the job for the team.”

He was particularly impressed with how Mohammed Siraj owned the stage in Colombo. In one of the most incisive spells of pace bowling, Siraj took four wickets in one over to reduce Sri Lanka to 12/6 at one moment, and eventually, the Lankans were bundled out for a paltry 50 runs on board. Rohit was all praise for his pacer and was relieved for the way everything was coming together.

“It gives me a lot of relief when I see our bowlers bowl the way they did. Extremely satisfying for a captain. I’m not saying this - whoever has come before me and led the side earlier. Fast bowling is something that all the captains take a lot of pride in. For me, it is no different, a very positive outcome indeed. All five pacers have different skills and variations. If you get all these things, as captain, you get relief. With this bowling attack, we have that in plenty.”

During the innings, Siraj had an opportunity to break Stuart Binny’s record and become the first Indian pacer to pick seven wickets in an ODI. However, after a seven-over spell, Rohit decided to turn the other way and employed his spinners. On being asked to reason out, Rohit put it down to Siraj’s workload management.

“He bowled seven overs in that spell. Seven overs is a lot. I wanted him to bowl, but got a message from the trainer to stop him. He was desperate to bowl, but that’s the nature of any bowler or batter; when they see the opportunity, they want to pounce on it. 

“That’s where my job comes in, and I had to ensure everything remained calm. You don’t overexaggerate yourself too much. I remember against Sri Lanka, in Trivandrum, he was in a very similar situation; he bowled eight or nine overs on a trot. He was on four wickets. But today, I think seven overs is good enough.”

Updating on the injury to Axar Patel, Rohit revealed that the all-round had suffered a tear to his hand and would take some time to recover. While he didn’t provide any particular timeframe, the Indian skipper believes Shreyas Iyer is 99% fit to go, and his exclusion for the final was down to him not yet ticking all parameters decided for him to come back into action.

“Shreyas was not available for this game because there were certain parameters for him to tick off,” Rohit said. “I think he completed most of it. I think 99%, he would be okay as of now. He batted and fielded for long hours before coming to the ground. Not so sure about Axar. He has a small tear. Maybe a week or 10 days; we need to see how that injury progresses. We’ll wait and see. I am unsure if he’d be okay to play the first two games against Australia at home.”

Related Article