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HomeSportsIPL-17 | Self-belief and never-say-die attitude are Mohammed Siraj’s real strengths, says...

IPL-17 | Self-belief and never-say-die attitude are Mohammed Siraj’s real strengths, says Sunil Gavaskar

Royal Challengers Bengaluru Mohammed Siraj. File
| Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Mohammed Siraj’s self-belief and never-say-die attitude are his real strengths, said batting legend Sunil Gavaskar after the pacer set up Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s four-wicket win over Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League in Bengaluru.

Siraj’s two-wicket burst in the powerplay to remove Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha played a crucial role as GT could manage just 147 all-out in 19.3 overs on May 4.

“Every time you see Mohammed Siraj, you know that he’s going to give his heart out. Remember the time when his father passed away when he was in Australia. He carried on,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports Cricket Live.

“A lot of people would want to go back because your parents are so dear to you. But I think he realised that playing for India was important. Also, he was not established at that stage. An established player would 100 per cent have gone back.

“And remember how spectacularly he bowled in that Gabba Test match. Getting somebody like Steve Smith out when he was on 55… so this is the real strength of Mohammed Siraj, the self-belief and the never-say-die attitude on the field.” Chasing a modest 148, Faf du Plessis (64) and Virat Kohli (42) put on 92 runs inside the powerplay to give RCB a blistering start.

RCB, however, slipped from 92/0 to 117/6 before romping home in 13.4 overs.

“Extraordinary stuff during the power play when RCB was batting. It was just game on, and then all of a sudden things changed. Were they trying to counter the net run rate solution? And if that is the case, then well played to them because they needed to go hard,” former Australian batter Matthew Hayden said.

“So they lost those three wickets to Joshua Little straight away in that middle stage of the match. And then they were able to consolidate because, simply as you heard Faf at the presentation say, anything short of 180, even 190 on this high-scoring venue, was never going to be enough runs.” Former England cricketer and coach Paul Collingwood also lauded the “aggressive approach” of the RCB batters.

“The intensity displayed by RCB with the ball was commendable. Even while chasing a modest total, seeing Virat Kohli stepping out of his crease and effortlessly flicking a delivery for six on just the second ball indicated their aggressive intent. This signals danger for their opponents.

“Despite their position near the bottom of the table, RCB didn’t hold back. They showed clarity, bravery, and aggression, particularly in the middle order. Although they lost wickets, I commend their aggressive approach,” he said.

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