Former India pacer Ashish Nehra believes that Mohammed Siraj has gone on to become the go-to man for Virat Kohli whenever he is looking for someone to bowl long spells and sustain the pressure in any situation.
Siraj made his Test debut during India’s tour of Australia 2020-21 and delivered an excellent performance as he finished as India’s highest wicket-taker in the series, with most first-team players out Injured. In a conversation with Cricbuzz, Nehra lauded Siraj’s skillset and his hunger to improve every day.
“Since the day he has come into the national setup, his hunger and eagerness to learn is quite visible. If Virat Kohli wants someone to bowl longer spells and hit bouncers, he is the go-to man in every situation,” Nehra said.
Nehra also explained why Siraj has been preferred to start ahead of senior players like Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav on this South Africa tour.
“He always maintains the pressure (put on by Bumrah and Shami). He never disappoints you; he gives his absolute best while running down the tracks. He has made the most of his skills and will only get better from here on,” Nehra added.
Unfortunately, Siraj was seen hobling off the field on Day 1 of the second Test between India and South Africa in Johannesburg. He pulled his hamstring while delivering a ball and the extent of his injury is not known yet. It remains to be seen whether he can continue taking part in the match.
Meanwhile, skipper Virat Kohli also got ruled out of this match with an upper back spasm and KL Rahul is leading the team now. The 29-year-old also came up with a fighting batting performance on a tough Day 1 track, as he contriibuted with a fifty in India’s total of 202.
If Siraj isn’t able to bowl, that will be quite a big blow for India. But they are playing with an extra pacer in Shardul Thakur and they will hope that he will be able to deliver in case Siraj is ruled out.