Holding back Siraj ain’t a great idea

The form that Mohammed Siraj has shown recently has made it a no-brainer to include him in the Indian playing XI in test cricket.

An improved bowler

Mohammed Siraj went for plenty in the IPL when he first came onto the scene. However, slowly but surely, with more and more first class cricket and India A tours under his belt, the pace bowler has improved tremendously and is among the best fast bowlers in the country at the moment.

In fact, it was a pity that Siraj was not played either in place of Ishant Sharma or Ravindra Jadeja in the Indian playing XI in the world test Championship final against New Zealand which ultimately cost team India.

Backing of legends

Even one of the greats of the game Harbhajan Singh had suggested before the tournament that given the form and class of Siraj, he should make it into the playing XI ahead of the out of form Ishant Sharma.

“If I was the captain, I would go with three pure fast bowlers. In that case, JaspritBumrah and Mohammed Shami pick themselves. In this final, I would like to go with Mohammed Siraj ahead of Ishant Sharma,” Harbhajan had said. “Ishant is a brilliant bowler but for this game, my choice is Siraj, who has shown remarkable improvement in the last two years.”

“You have to look at the present scenario. Siraj’s form, pace and confidence makes him a better choice for this final match. The kind of form he is in the last six months, he looks like a bowler who is hungry for his chances. Ishant has gone through some injuries of late but has been a great servant of Indian cricket no doubt. If you leave some grass on the surface, Siraj with his pace will be lethal. Trust me, New Zealand batters won’t find him easy as he not only hits the deck but also gets to move the ball off the pitch at brisk pace. He can create awkward angles for batsmen.”

Should be a permanent fixture

While that is past us now, India should not make the same mistake again and again. India did not play Mohammed Siraj ahead of Ishant Sharma in the home series against England and made the same mistake in the first test of the series against New Zealand as well.

It is time that Mohammed Siraj leaps Ishant Sharma as the third-choice Indian pacer and is part of every Indian test playing XI.

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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