Last year’s IPL disappointment drove my success in white-ball cricket in the new year: Siraj

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Mumbai: The disappointment of not being able to perform in the previous edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) pushed India pacer Mohammed Siraj to focus more on white-ball cricket, which is now paying rich dividends.

The 28-year-old bowler returned with 4 for 32 from his 10 overs to dismiss Sri Lanka for 73 in 22 overs as India won the match by 317 runs here on Sunday.

Siraj was retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ahead of the 2022 season despite having only nine wickets in 15 matches with an economy rate of more than ten runs per over.

Following the disappointment of the 2022 IPL, Siraj stated that he began focusing on the execution of line and length in white-ball cricket.

“When my IPL season ended in disaster, I turned my attention to white-ball cricket. I worked on it and gained confidence as a result. I stopped worrying about how I would perform, which was not the case previously. I began concentrating solely on line and length execution.”

The beauty of bowling with a wobbled seam, according to Siraj, is its unpredictability. So much so that he has no idea how much the ball will do after he pitches it. Since discovering the art of bowling with a wobbled seam in 2018, Siraj has been reaping the benefits.

He took nine wickets in the one-day international series against Sri Lanka, providing India with much-needed wickets with the new ball.

“With a wobbled seam, neither I nor the batter knows how much the ball will do. It can go straight after pitching or come in sharply at times. The majority of my wickets come from wobbled seams. It works for me, and I am confident that it will continue to work for me “Siraj stated following the third ODI.

The skilled pacer explained that he used the wobbled seam after his natural inswinger failed him.

“Previously, inswing was my natural motion, but when it stopped, I developed outswing. I developed the wobbled seam when I didn’t have the inswing. It took a long time for me to become effective and confident. The more I practiced in the nets, the better I became. In the IPL, I also spoke with Dale Steyn about outswing, which was extremely beneficial to me.”

When asked about the Sri Lanka series, he said his strategy was straightforward.

“The plan was to take early wickets and put the opposition under pressure.”

Siraj is now looking forward to playing at home against New Zealand in the first One-Day International on January 18.

“It would be nice to play at home in front of my family, coaches, and friends,” he added.

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