India's Mohammed Siraj (R) is watched by umpire Adrian Holdstock (2R). (AFP Photo)HARARE: Pacer Mohammed Siraj on Saturday said bowling consistently in the right areas without worrying about wickets was the key to his success as he produced another impressive spell in India's series-clinching five-wicket win in the second ODI against Zimbabwe here.
Siraj, who had claimed one for 36 in the first ODI, kept the ball in the off-stump channel, troubling the Zimbabwe batters with the late swing.
The 28-year-old from Hyderabad was rewarded for his consistency as opener Takudzwanashe Kaitano got an edge in the ninth over for Sanju Samson to pull off a one-handed stunner.
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India's top order wobbled a bit while chasing a small total but captain KL Rahul said his side was not nervous as it notched up a comprehensive five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second ODI to clinch the series with one match remaining on Saturday.
"In West Indies and England also I bowled well, my rhythm was good in the first match as well, so my plan was to hit an area consistently without worrying whether I will get wickets or not," Siraj, who took one wicket for 16 runs in eight overs, said in the post-match press conference.
With 40 wickets in 13 Tests, Siraj has impressed in red-ball cricket but he lacked consistency in white-ball game.
Asked if he had made any changes for white-ball cricket, Siraj said: "I just kept belief in myself, because ups and downs are part of everyone's life, so I just kept belief that I can do it no matter if it is a white ball or red ball.
Read AlsoIndia vs Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI Highlights: Sanju Samson, Shardul Thakur fashion India's five-wicket win over Zimbabwe
Sanju Samson produced a responsible unbeaten 43 after a clinical bowling display, led by pacer Shardul Thakur, as India sailed to a five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second ODI to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. It was not quite a domination unlike the first ODI but the
"So I just wanted to keep hitting the right areas and bowl dot balls to build up pressure on the opposition. Starting with the new ball, I went for wickets a few times but as you know white ball doesn't swing much, so I was planning to consistently hit one area and bowl maiden overs."
In five T20Is, Siraj has taken just five wickets, while snapping 13 wickets in 10 ODIs.
Chasing 162 to win, India were 97 for 4 at the end of the 14th over before Sanju Samson's unbeaten 43 off 39 balls took the visitors home with 24.2 overs left.
In Pics – Shardul Thakur in the wickets as India cruise to ODI series win against Zimbabwe
NextShow Captions<p>Seamer Shardul Thakur took 3/38 as India completed a 5-wicket win over Zimbabwe to claim victory in their 3-match One-Day International series with a game to spare at the Harare Sports Club. (AP photo)</p><p>After electing to bowl, India dismissed the home side for 161 before chasing down their target with 24.2 overs remaining in another comfortable win to follow Thursday’s victory by 10 wickets at the same venue. (Photo credit: BCCI Twitter)</p><p>All six Indian bowlers took wickets, but it was Thakur who stood out as he dismissed opener Innocent Kaia (16), captain Regis Chakabva (2) and Luke Jongwe (6) with some excellent swing bowling. (Photo credit: BCCI Twitter)</p><p>Sean Williams was the top scorer for Zimbabwe with a run-a-ball 42, while Ryan Burl was left stranded not out on 39 at the end of the innings. (AFP photo)</p><p>India lost captain KL Rahul (1) early in their reply, while the heroes from the first game, Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill, both scored 33 but could not repeat their unbeaten half-centuries from two days earlier. (AFP photo)</p><p>Deepak Hooda (25) and Sanju Samson (43 not out) put on 56 for the fifth wicket to see India to within sight of their target. (AFP photo)</p><p>The third and final ODI will be played at the same venue on Monday. (PTI photo)</p>
Asked if there were any worrying signs in the team, Siraj said: "Because the total was 160 or something. We were 100 for 4 but there was no panic in the dressing room because we needed just 40 runs after Ishan Kishan's wicket."
Current head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) VVS Laxman took over the role of India's head coach for the tour of Zimbabwe with Rahul Dravid given a break ahead of the Asia Cup.
Asked about Laxman's role, Siraj said: "Laxman sir was part of Sunrisers Hyderabad (in IPL) when I was selected for the first time. He understands my skills and gives me a lot of confidence and it feels good when a coach is around."