In a dramatic turn of events during Day 2 of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final between India and Australia at The Oval, Mohammed Siraj found himself at the center of controversy. The incident unfolded when Siraj threw the ball in the direction of Steve Smith, creating a bizarre moment that left many spectators and experts astonished.
Smith began the day on 95 runs and was inching closer to his century. With two consecutive boundaries off Siraj’s bowling, he reached the much-awaited milestone. However, on the fourth ball of the over, Smith unexpectedly moved away from the stumps just moments before the delivery was bowled. This sudden movement was reportedly due to an issue with the spider cam, causing a disruption in the match’s flow.
Mohammed Siraj attracts Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri Displeasing Comments
Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian skipper and renowned commentator, expressed his displeasure with the incident, remarking, “What is happening? I mean these are the second and third deliveries of the day.” Gavaskar’s disapproval further fueled the debate surrounding Siraj’s actions.
Adding his voice to the discussion, Ravi Shastri, the former India head coach, sided with Smith, asserting that the Australian batsman had the “every right” to move away before the delivery was bowled. Shastri believed that Siraj’s frustration, stemming from being hit for two boundaries, played a role in the incident. He also noted that Siraj had received a sound admonition from his teammate Rohit Sharma on the previous ball.
While the controversy overshadowed the match, India found themselves in a precarious situation on the field. Australia had posted a commendable total of 469 runs in their first innings of the World Test Championship final, leaving India with a challenging task ahead.
During the morning session on Day 2, Australia managed to add 142 runs to their overnight score, losing seven wickets in the process. The Indian bowlers, led by Mohammed Siraj, showcased their skills, cleaning up the Australian tail and restricting their opponents’ progress. Siraj emerged as the standout performer, claiming four crucial wickets.
India’s batting innings commenced before the tea break, but they encountered early setbacks with the loss of their openers. Pat Cummins dismissed skipper Rohit Sharma, who scored a promising 15 runs off 26 deliveries. Soon after, Scott Boland sent Shubman Gill back to the pavilion, deceiving the young batsman and uprooting his stumps. At tea, India stood at 37 for two, with Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease, still trailing Australia by 432 runs.
The controversial incident involving Mohammed Siraj and Steve Smith injected an unexpected twist into the WTC Final. As the match progressed, tensions ran high, with opinions divided on the appropriateness of Siraj’s actions. While the cricketing world awaited further developments, the players and fans prepared for an intense battle on the field to determine the ultimate victor in this historic contest.