As Virat Kohli-led Indian team gets ready to face off against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the World Test Championship final, the focus is more on the fast bowlers than the batsmen. The conditions in Southampton are expected to favour seamers, and fans are wondering whether Mohammed Siraj, who had an excellent tour to Australia, will be a part of the playing XI.
Meanwhile, a good news is coming for all those who want to see Mohammed Siraj bowling in WTC final against New Zealand. As per reports of Times Of India, Team India is “eager” to play pacer Mohammed Siraj in the playing XI of World Test Championship. An overcast condition is expected during the one-off Test in Southampton from June 18; making Siraj inclusion plausible.
The report further added that Indian players have started training in Southampton with the sessions being divided into groups of three and four players as part of their training in soft quarantine. Although it has been just limited to warm-ups, full-fledged training will begin from Friday. During this period the condition of pacers will be adjudged and Siraj will be at the centre of it.
No doubt, playing Siraj in the final XI would be a tough call as the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are so far fit and available for the selection as well.
However as per reports, Ishant Sharma might be dropped for Siraj for the Test as the management feels Siraj is hitting his marks well in training leading up to the game. However, Ishant, a dependable bowling option in Test, is still difficult to drop given he is the most experienced pacer in the team.
Former India Players Feels Siraj Might Pay WTC Final
Former India cricketers Reetinder Sodhi and Saba Karim believe that the right-arm fast bowler is certain of playing the all-important clash.
“I agree that these are still early days, they will be practicing in a group in England and then together as a team, the form of bowlers will be seen but one thing is sure that at the moment, Mohammed Siraj is certain to play the premier match, the World Test Championship final, which will be a huge achievement for him,” Sodhi said.
“The way Mohammed Siraj’s name has come out, this boy has taken giant strides. He is still a baby in international cricket but the way he stamped his authority in Australia, the fighting spirit he has shown, and the lethal pace he generates, it is a very big thing that his name is being taken ahead of Ishant,” he added.
Saba Karim further explained why Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri believe Siraj is the ideal player to bowl against New Zealand batters.
“At the moment, the New Zealand team has four left-handers – Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, and Mitchell Santner. I feel if we compare our four frontline pace bowlers, Mohammed Siraj probably bowls the best against left-handers. That is why I feel Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri believe it will be ideal to play Mohammed Siraj,” Karim said.