India pacer Mohammed Siraj is confident spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will prove to be more than a handful for the West Indies batters on the final day of the second Test here on Monday and help the visitors make a clean sweep of the two-match series.
India, after setting a 365-run target for the hosts to level the series, had West Indies struggling at 76/2 at stumps on day four with veteran spinner Ashwin taking both the wickets on Sunday.
The Caribbean side still has to score 289 runs to achieve an improbable win on Monday with the wicket assisting spinners.
“The way the wicket is behaving, Ashwin, I feel, will run through the West Indies batting... the ball is turning,” said Siraj at the end of day’s play after India declared their innings at 181/2 and then got rid of the dangerous West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite and Kirk McKenzie to leave the hosts in a spot of bother.” he said.
Siraj added that it wasn’t easy bowling in hot and humid conditions with frequent rain interruptions.
“When you bowl long spells in this heat and humidity, it is not easy. Then intermittent rains and to warm up again and again after every rain break, it was very challenging.” Siraj added he was proud to have become the mainstay of the Indian pace-bowling unit in a short span of two-and-half years.
With Jasprit Bumraj recovering from a back injury and Mohammed Shami rested for the West Indies series, the pressure is on Siraj to deliver and the 29-year-old quick has not disappointed.
“To be honest, I feel very nice when I get a responsibility, when no (senior) is there. When I have responsibility on my shoulders, I like it a lot, and I like accepting challenges,” said Siraj.
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