Siraj’s performance in the post-lunch session continued the momentum gained by India in the morning. Right from the first ball, he showed great control and skill, challenging the Australian batsmen with his line and length.
In the 23.1 over, Siraj started the session by delivering a fuller length ball just outside off, tempting Smith to play a shot, but the Australian batsman wisely let it go. In the following delivery, Siraj bowled a misdirected bouncer down the leg side, resulting in a wide. However, he quickly made up for it by delivering a good length ball at 135kph, shaping away from Smith, who defended it with caution.
Continuing to vary his deliveries, Siraj went wider on the crease in the 23.2 over, angling the ball towards off after hitting a good length. Smith adjusted well, getting forward to defend the ball confidently. Siraj maintained the pressure with his disciplined line and length, not allowing the Australian batsmen any room to free their arms.
In the 23.3 over, Siraj bowled a full ball that strayed onto the middle and leg stump. Smith looked to flick it away, but ended up with a thick inside edge. The ball raced towards fine leg, but Mohammed Shami, stationed there, displayed excellent fielding skills by sticking out his boot and cutting it off. The batsmen managed to run two, adding valuable runs to the Australian total.
Siraj’s accuracy and ability to move the ball off the seam troubled Smith. In the next delivery, he bowled a fuller length ball just outside off, tempting Smith to drive, but the ball took the outside half of the bat and rolled towards point. Smith was fortunate to escape a dismissal on that occasion.
The final ball of the over saw Siraj deliver a left-alone ball outside off, testing Smith’s judgment and leaving him untroubled. The Indian pacer maintained good control over his deliveries, consistently hitting the right areas and keeping the batsmen on their toes.