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Siraj’s Deadly Yorkers Unnerve England’s Batsmen

The son of an auto-rickshaw driver did not get his name on to the honours board at Lord’s but he led his fellow quicks to make that famous victory possible with eight wickets in the Test. Mohammed Siraj’s intensity has undone England’s Test batsmen as much as Jasprit Bumrah’s pace. His steep angles into the right handers, but more importantly away from the left handers have had a consistently unsettling effect as they are not able to pick him. Siraj, a champion bowler in tennis ball street cricket around Hyderabad, started bowling with a hard ball only after he was 20 when in 2015 he joined Charminar Cricket Club. And when the IPL bidding stopped at Rs 2.6 crores from Sunrisers, Siraj’s first instinct was to tell his father to stop driving his 3-wheeler for a living. Siraj will be one of the charged-up skipper Virat Kohli’s main weapons as Team India goes into the Headingley Test convinced that they are the better side and must press on to win the 5-Test series. A fuller length that suits English conditions best, a deadly yorker developed from bowling the tennis ball, stamina and persistence are Siraj’s plus points. As the 5-day format gives him time to work on the batsmen, his only regret is that his dad passed on before his Test debut.