R Ashwin himself updated on the fitness of Mohammad Siraj

India’s Mohammad Siraj (R) walks in with a support staff© AFP

Always count on Ravichandran Ashwin to provide interesting answers to regular questions. In a post-match virtual press conference on Monday, the India off-spinner was asked about the fitness of pacer Mohammad Siraj, who was out on the field at the end of the first day of the second Test at Wanderers in Johannesburg. Ashwin said that he had asked India’s media manager (Anand) if he could talk about Siraj’s injury before coming to the press conference. Asked to give an update on Siraj’s injury, Ashwin said, “So, before going to the press conference I asked Anand if I could talk about it and he said I can.”

The veteran off-spinner then said that the team management is hopeful that Siraj will recover and give his best for the remainder of this second Test.

“The medical staff is assessing him overnight and obviously, I think, it’s very urgent so initially what they do with these injuries, they just ice it and watch it for the next hour or two. I am hoping with Siraj’s history, he will ‘definitely come out and give his best,’ Ashwin said.

Siraj was dismissed in South Africa’s first innings on the sixth ball of the 17th over just before his delivery stride. The India seamer was grabbing his hamstring and immediately called the physio. After a brief discussion, Siraj decided to walk off the field. Shardul Thakur completed the over, which turned out to be the last over of the day.

At stumps, South Africa posted 35 for 1 between captain Dean Elgar (11) and Keegan Pietersen (14). They are behind India – 202 all out – by 167 runs.

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When asked about India’s batting in the first innings, Ashwin replied: “(What is) it has been difficult to score well in South Africa, especially in the first innings. Winning the toss and batting first is always a good thing and you post Would like to do. Maybe a good score over 260 or 270 which is around the score.

“South Africa have always batted first (in the past) and scored over 250 and in dominating games. Maybe we are a little short. But I still think we have our full bowling arsenal available tomorrow. Fingers crossed. We certainly can make some of this total,” he said.

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