"He will run through WI batting" - Siraj confident Ashwin will deliver the goods on Day 5
Mohammed Siraj is confident that the star India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will present a daunting challenge for the West Indies batters on the final day of the second Test as the hosts aim to chase down 289 runs to level the two-match series.
After setting a demanding target of 365 runs for the hosts, the West Indies struggled and reached a score of 76/2 by the end of day four. On Sunday, the seasoned off-spinner, Ashwin, showcased his skills by taking both wickets. The prevailing conditions appear favorable for spinners, further playing into Ashwin's hands.
"The way the wicket is behaving, Ashwin, I feel, will run through the West Indies batting... the ball is turning," said Siraj at the end of day's play after India declared their innings at 181/2.
Siraj rises to the occasion in the absence of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah
Siraj's remarkable performance in the first innings resulted in him securing a five-wicket haul, playing a crucial role in India's dismissal of the West Indies for 255 in response to the visitors' total of 438. With Jasprit Bumrah recovering from a back injury and Mohammed Shami being rested for the West Indies series, the responsibility to deliver has fallen on Siraj's shoulders. Despite the pressure, the 29-year-old fast bowler has risen to the occasion and has not disappointed.
Siraj revealed India's strategic plan of adopting an aggressive batting approach in the second innings, intending to set a substantial total for the home team. Furthermore, Siraj praised the debutant pacer Mukesh Kumar for his impressive performance in the match. Despite it being his first game at this level, Mukesh bowled 23 overs and claimed two wickets.