Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj on Saturday the work he put on after an injury layoff helped him build up for his Test return that resulted in him picking 3-19 on the second day of the second and final Test against New Zealand at the Wankhede stadium here.
Siraj, who was brought into the playing XI after Ishant Sharma got injured during the first Test at Kanpur, said he was ready for his chance and utilised it by bowling according to the field as he ended up as the only pacer to take wickets in this match dominated by spinners.
"When I was injured and also missed out on the last match, the only plan was to focus on my bowling. While training, I was bowling at one stump and was also working on the outswing. I knew that when I will get an opportunity in the next match, I have to plan accordingly. Today when I started bowling, it was important to find the rhythm and bowl consistently. That was successful," said Siraj during a virtual press conference on Saturday.
"I wanted to bowl to the stumps and be consistent. If you generate swing, then it troubles the batters. Keeping it at one area and hitting the stumps was the target," he said of his tactics on Saturday.
Siraj, the 27-year-old from Hyderabad, said the delivery that got seasoned New Zealand batter Ross Taylor went as per plan. The delivery pitched on the middle swung just a bit to rattle the off-stump.
"The plan was that we had set field for an inswing delivery and aimed to hit the pads but the way I was building my rhythm, I thought why not bowl an outswing. It was a dream delivery for a fast bowler."
Siraj further said as he would get only 3-4 overs, he decided to give it all in those.
"I knew I would get 3-4 overs of a spell and wanted to bowl with full intensity and in the right areas. I tried to bowl to the stumps and be consistent," he said adding, "Here spinners dominated, but I thought that if I could bowl with confidence for a few overs and be consistent, then I could grab a few wickets and help the team. That was the plan - to place it in the right areas."
And Siraj did just that to start the carnage and help India get into a dominant position in the match.