India's Mohammed Siraj celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Jonny Bairstow. (Reuters)
India's Mohammed Siraj celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Jonny Bairstow. (Reuters)

Mohammed Siraj, the Hyderabad pacer took four wickets for 66 in the home side’s first innings to emerge as India’s most successful bowler. India is leading 2-1 in the series. A victory in the current match will ensure a series triumph.

Mohammed Siraj, who has 18 scalps in the current series so far, is feeling very optimistic about India’s chances of winning another Test series in England. Mohammed Siraj was also India’s highest wicket-taker in the last Test series against Australia in Australia, claiming 13 wickets in only 3 matches.

Mohammed Siraj (Photo: AP)
Mohammed Siraj (Photo: AP)

Mohammed Siraj: It Will Be Memorable If India Wins The Series Against England Like The Memorable Series Win In Australia

Team India pacer Mohammed Siraj was the pick of the pace bowlers, claiming 4/66 as the visitors ended the third day with a lead of 257 and seven wickets in hand.

“It was a memorable series in Australia (in 2020-21). This will also be memorable (if we win),” Mohammed Siraj told media after the third day’s play in the fifth and final Test against England.

Revealing India’s thinking while bowling, he said: “We had to be patient given (Jonny) Bairstow’s form.”

He added it was an advantage that India had “140 km plus bowlers”. Referring to the second day when it rained frequently to cause stoppages in play, he admitted: “Rain gives rest to the bowlers. This is very good for fast bowlers.”

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara (Credits: Twitter)

In Mohammed Siraj’s opinion, there was no reverse swing available for the Indian bowlers. However, he indicated the “ball was keeping low” — this could be an advantage for India as the match progresses. He said as long as the ball was swinging or seaming he was bowling outside the off-stump line. But he switched to bowling straighter when the ball wasn’t moving that much.

About Cheteshwar Pujara, who was unbeaten on a half-century in India’s second innings, he added: “He is a warrior.”

After bowling England out for 284 runs, India was 124 for three at the close, giving them an overall lead of 257 runs, with two days of play remaining. Having taken a first-innings lead of 132 runs, the visitors have extended their overall lead to 257 with seven wickets remaining in their second innings. At the close of play, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant were batting on 50 and 30 respectively.

India bowled out England for 284 in their first innings. Jonny Bairstow was the most successful batter for England as he smashed 106 off 140 balls. He added 66 with skipper Ben Stokes (25) before forging a 92-run partnership with Sam Billings (36). The Indians’ made 416 all out in their first innings.

Jonny Bairstow: England Would Chase Whatever Target Is Set

Jonny Bairstow is the world’s leading scorer in Test cricket this year with 880 runs – including five hundred – at an average of 67.69 in 2022, and scored 394 runs off 328 balls against New Zealand, including 77 and 95-ball centuries at Trent Bridge and Headingley respectively. His strike rate against New Zealand (120.12) was the second-highest in Test history by a batter scoring more than 300 runs in a series. He followed it up with a 106 against India.

The star of the England batting, Jonny Bairstow, answering questions from media, said: “I am just watching the ball. I have never been a great technician.”
Jonny Bairstow. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Jonny Bairstow. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Jonny Bairstow completed his third century in consecutive tests on Sunday. This time he scored 106 against India, following up on his hundreds against New Zealand.

Describing India as a “fantastic team”, the Yorkshire batsman asserted: “We are going to chase whatever we are set. We are trying to entertain people. In doing so we are going to lose a few games. It can only be good for the game.”

He felt the pitch in this test was quicker than the ones in England’s series with New Zealand.