Colombo: Gautam Gambhir, the former India opener and member of the 2011 ODI World Cup winning team, praised pacer Mohammed Siraj for blowing away Sri Lanka’s batting order with a magnificent six-wicket haul, saying one should just see high-quality bowling instead of gazing at the scoreboard.
On Sunday, at the R Premadasa Stadium, Siraj became only the second bowler to take a six-fer in a men’s ODI Asia Cup final after Ajantha Mendis picked a deadly 6-21 as India bowled out Sri Lanka for just 50 in the title clash at the R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday.
“This is outstanding bowling. This is the test match length that leads to 4 wickets in one over. This makes it world-class bowling. On one side, you have Jasprit Bumrah, and on the other side, you have Mohammed Siraj. We no longer need to look at the scorecard; just witness the high-quality bowling. Sri Lanka was completely struggling,” said Gambhir on the Disney+ Hotstar platform, where the ongoing Asia Cup final is being streamed for free.
During his spell, Siraj also became the first Indian bowler to take four wickets in as many balls, with his career-best 6-21 also becoming the best-ever figures by a fast bowler in the Asia Cup when played in the ODI format.
Siraj took just 16 balls to complete his five-wicket haul, also the joint-quickest to reach the mark alongside Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas and USA’s Ali Khan. Playing in his 29th ODI, Siraj took 1002 balls to get his 50th wicket in the format – the second quickest for any bowler in the history of ODIs, only behind Mendis’ 847 balls, also making him the joint-fourth-quickest among all Indian bowlers to get the milestone.
“It is like a dream. Last time against Sri Lanka I took four early wickets (at Thiruvananthapuram), but couldn’t get five. I realised you get whatever is in your fate. Today I was destined to get this.”
“I didn’t get much swing in the earlier matches but today that I got swing, I wanted to make the batters play. It is extremely satisfying that I got wickets with outswingers because generally, I get wickets off the wobble-seam delivery,” said Siraj on his spell in a mid-innings chat with the broadcasters.
After taking four wickets in his second over of the game, Siraj was then seen receiving a massage on the field, with ex-left arm pacer Irfan Pathan commenting, “If you bowl like this, you don’t need a massage table; the massage comes to you on the field. Well done, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.”