As a fast bowler, you should stay away from these jumps: Mohammed Shami advices Mohammed Siraj to not replicate Cristiano Ronaldo’s celebration

It is no news that Mohammed Siraj is a big Cristiano Ronaldo fan. The right arm India pacer has been imitating the Portuguese footballer’s signature ‘Siu’ celebration after taking wickets for a while now and did the same when he cleaned up Travis Head early during the first ODI against Australia on Friday.

When his fellow India pacer Mohammed Shami enquired about the same after India’s five wicket win in Mumbai, Siraj explained in a BCCI video, “So, because I’m a Cristiano (Ronaldo) fan, which is why I celebrate like him. Whenever I’ve bowled a batter, I celebrate that way. Not when it is caught at fine leg or something.”

The senior paceman would suggest, “Ek advice hai… it’s a good thing that you are someone’s fan but as a fast bowler you should stay away from these jumps.”

Both Shami and Siraj fired on all cylinders, picking three wickets each as India bundled out Australia for 188 in the first innings at the Wankhede Stadium.

“A fiery spell. To pick three wickets in this heat, what was your plan?,” Siraj would ask.

“Nothing special. Just like we discuss in the team meetings, that we need to keep the ball in good areas, focus on good line and length, that was all I had in my mind. As you said, it was a very hot out there as well. You’ve felt the same as well. When we bowled the first spell, it was pretty hot. After the breeze started blowing, it became a little easy. The plan was to try and get off to a good start,” Shami replied.

Siraj would then enquire as to how Shami was able to walk straight into the first ODI to bowl his quota of overs after not having attended any practice session in Mumbai since playing in the Ahmedabad Test. “You played the Test match (in Ahmedabad) and then came here. There were practice sessions for two days. One was of course optional. But for two days, you didn’t come to practice and bowled directly in the game. How did you manage it?”

The 32-year-old responded, “I think you didn’t play the Test in Ahmedabad. After 40 overs in the match, I thought I needed a couple of days for recovery. So I completed it and then came to play the game. The management also accepted that it was important for me to recover coming into this game. We’ve played so much cricket that we know of the skill and the ability. So it becomes crucial to recover in order to perform well.”

Chasing 189, India lost three wickets in the powerplay and another one just outside it. Captain Hardik Pandya, who was looking good with his boundaries in the middle, was also sent back with more than a hundred runs left to chase and just five wickets in hand.

“When we were chasing 189 and losing quick wickets early on, what were you thinking?” Shami asked Siraj.

“I thought this will go right down the wire and will be an interesting game. Afterwards, the partnership between Jaddu bhai (Ravindra Jadeja) and KL (Rahul) bhai’s partnership of 100 runs was outstanding,” Siraj replied.

Rahul (75*) and Jadeja (45*) bailed the hosts out of a troublesome situation, adding 108 runs for the sixth wicket and wrap up the chase with 61 deliveries to spare.

Shami would then ask of his bowling compatriot, “But I saw had started to take out your batting equipment?” to which Siraj replied with a laugh, “I trusted these two to finish the game.”

“I think you stay tense when you have to walk out to bat. Do you think a lot about batting?” the senior pro pulled his junior’s leg further.

Out came the response, “It’s tense, yes. When you are representing your country, there are nerves for sure. I think if I can contribute with the bat, it can helpful for the team.”

On his plan and the conditions at play during the first innings, Siraj stated, “To be honest, when I bowl with the new ball…to the left hander (Travis Head), I can get the ball to swing back in, so the plan was to take as many wickets as I can in the powerplay.”

Siraj then spoke of the passage of play when Shami picked three wickets off his three straight overs during a second spell on Friday. “I got a wicket and was at fine leg when you were bowling and thought what’s happening (referring to Shami picking three wickets in quick succession). I thought to myself, “Has the umpire given a new ball!?”

He then added, “And then when I came to bowl, I realised it was moving well off the wicket. I had the plan to bowl consistently at one spot….”

“No, you had quite a few thoughts in your head as to where to bowl. I was at mid off,” Shami would interrupt, to which Siraj laughingly admitted, “Thoughts were of course there but you were nearby, so I got the tips and enjoyed bowling at Wankhede.”

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