India’s spinner Harbhajan Singh has put his weight behind Mohammed Siraj to play in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.
The Turbanator stated that Siraj has shown remarkable improvement since making his International debut.
Siraj made his Test match debut against Australia and took giant strides in the Border-Gavaskar trophy. In fact, the fast bowler from Hyderabad was the leader of the pack in the historic Test match at the Gabba, Brisbane.
Siraj scalped 13 wickets in three Test matches on Australian tour, including a five-wicket haul at Brisbane and finished as India’s highest wicket-taker in the series. Thus, the fast bowler grew in confidence and the same was palpable in IPL 2021, where Siraj represented Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Siraj snared six wickets in seven matches and bowled with an impressive economy rate of 7.34. The 27-year old was able to nail the yorkers consistently and there is no doubt that he is a different bowler altogether after making his Test debut.
Harbhajan added that he will pick Mohammed Siraj ahead of experienced Ishant Sharma as Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami pick themselves.
“If I was the captain, I would go with three pure fast bowlers. In that case, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami pick themselves. In this final, I would like to go with Mohammed Siraj ahead of Ishant Sharma. Ishant is a brilliant bowler but for this game, my choice is Siraj, who has shown remarkable improvement in the last two years,” Harbhajan told PTI on Thursday.
Harbhajan added that Siraj could be more lethal than Ishant Sharma if there is some grass on the surface at Southampton.
“You have to look at present scenario. Siraj’s form, pace and confidence makes him a better choice for this final match. The kind of form he is in 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,” the off-spinner said.
“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,” India’s third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket observed.
The WTC final will take place at Ageas Bowl, Southampton from June 18.