Matches (17)
IPL (2)
ENG v PAK (W) (1)
T20I Tri-Series (2)
County DIV1 (5)
County DIV2 (4)
CE Cup (3)
Match Analysis

Mohammed Siraj, five Tests old with the nous of a veteran

There's nothing raw or naive about the India quick, even though he's barely two months old in Test cricket

You probably remember the Cameron Green dismissal. Outswinger, outswinger, outswinger, and then the coup de grâce.
It isn't often that a fast bowler does that on debut, but there was little rawness or naivete about Mohammed Siraj when he came to Test cricket.
On Thursday in Ahmedabad, Siraj demonstrated that this dismissal was by no means a one-off, and this time chose as his victim one of the world's best batsmen.
You can watch it here. As with the Green video, this one leaves out a couple of in-between balls that don't quite fit the out-out-in narrative, but the essence is there.
And the essence is of control and a disconcerting slipperiness, a feeling that the batsman is being hurried into his decision-making. It can't be easy to do that to Joe Root, but Siraj does it. He does it with his pace, the lateness of his movement, and his bustling energy through the crease, which probably makes him a little harder to pick up than bowlers with a more measured load-up and release.
The balls that leave Root, which he fences at uncomfortably, swing late rather than seam off the pitch. The length is shorter than a typical swing bowler's length, and this probably disconcerts the batsman too. Then there's a ball of similar length that nips back in, off the surface, and smacks Root on the thigh pad as he attempts, awkwardly, to shuffle out of the way.
The ball that gets Root, much like the ball that got Green, doesn't just do the batsman for movement but also for length. It's fuller than all the previous balls, though not quite as full as the one that got Green out.
The ball that gets Root pitches on that most discomfiting length - the shortest one that'll still hit the top of the stumps. That length scrambles batsmen's footwork at the best of times, but here Root has also been pushed back by all the balls that came before. When the slightly fuller in-ducker arrives, therefore, his feet are stuck in the crease.
During the Australia tour, Sachin Tendulkar got interested in Siraj's in-ducker. He put out a video explaining how Siraj bowled it, with a last-minute tilt of his wrist at delivery, and with the seam wobbling as the ball approached the batsmen.
Siraj bowled quite a few of these balls on Thursday, judging by slow-motion replays, and may well have got Root out with it too. He didn't go into too much detail about his grip or release during his press conference at the end of the day's play, but he described what his plan had been.
"I thought I'd set him up by bowling a few balls going away, and then one ball coming in," Siraj said. "I was feeling happy that I was getting it to go away, and then when I was about to bowl the first ball of a fresh over, I thought I'd bowl one that goes in, and pitch it up. It came out just as I had hoped it would. I was delighted when I bowled that ball."
It takes immense skill and control to pull this off, but, as mentioned earlier, there's little rawness or naivete about Siraj's bowling.
He remains endearingly bashful at press conferences, however, and it can be hard to get a lot out of him.
What did all his first-class experience - especially his 16 India A games, six in India and the rest spread across tours of South Africa, England, New Zealand and the West Indies - teach him before he came to Test cricket?
"When we played Ranji Trophy and India A matches, our only plan was to bowl with patience in one area, that's it, keep bowling there and the wickets will come."
What were his plans today?
"Virat [kohli] bhai told me, you have one job, just keep bowling in one area, and keep building pressure. I spoke to Ishant bhai as well, and he also said just keep bowling in one area, it's better if you don't try too many things, because if you build pressure, the wickets will come, so that was our plan."
Then the inevitable question about what he learned from Rahul Dravid when he played for India A.
"When I was performing in the Ranji Trophy and when Rahul sir saw me, when I was selected for India A in South Africa, he used to tell me, the line and length you bowl is very good, just focus on that and on your fitness. Whenever I played for India A, Rahul sir supported me a lot. He didn't tell me too many things, just to focus on my line and length, and that it would bring me success."
You get the idea.
You don't get wickets in Test cricket simply by bowling in one area, of course. You also need pace and movement and the ability to know what lines and lengths can trouble which batsmen. Siraj has all of that, as he showed once again with his wicket of Jonny Bairstow in the fourth over after lunch.
"I hadn't bowled much to Bairstow," Siraj said. "He hadn't faced a single ball from me [in that spell], but whatever videos I had watched of him and his dismissals, he was getting out a lot to the inswinger. So my plan was to bring one in from the fourth-stump line, and I was successful."
Again, he told himself to bowl a particular delivery on a particular spot, and did exactly that. He did it at 146.4kph. He hit the same awkward length that had trapped Root, but beat Bairstow for pace too.
By then, he had already engaged in a fiery bout with Ben Stokes, troubling him with his angle across the left-hander - usually bringing the batsman forward and almost always ending up in that play-or-leave channel - throwing in the bouncer, and engaging in a little verbal duel too. At the end of the day's play, both batsman and bowler brushed it off as one of those things that happen when two athletes are giving it their all.
There was a short passage of play, soon after the Bairstow dismissal, when Siraj bowled to Ollie Pope and shifted to a noticeably fuller length. Perhaps it was just because a new batsman was in, or perhaps it had something to do with Pope's tendency to squat into a firm forward press and drive away from his body. We won't know, because that contest didn't last too long, and ended up unresolved. But it said something about the range of things Siraj can do.
That range is probably why it was perfectly natural for India to pick him over Umesh Yadav - a bowler with 63 wickets in Indian conditions, at an average of 19.34, since the start of 2017 - for this Test match. The fact that Umesh hadn't played any competitive cricket since injuring his hamstring in December probably tilted the scales in Siraj's favour, but it's a fairly new thing for India's team management to have this depth of fast-bowling talent to choose from.
India lost the toss, bowled first, and bowled England out for 205 on a pitch that was by no means as spin-friendly as the ones that had hosted the previous two Tests. This pitch demanded that all their bowlers, fast and slow, pull their weight. The spinners ended up sharing eight wickets, but Siraj's contribution was no less crucial: 14 impressive overs, the wicket of England's best batsman, and the wicket that ended their biggest partnership.
Not bad at all for a guy playing only his fifth Test match.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo