Reetinder Singh Sodhi has opined that Mohammed Siraj is a sure-shot pick in Team India’s playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final as of now.
There is a leaked audio clip doing the rounds where Virat Kohli seems to be telling Ravi Shastri that he will look to target the Kiwi left-handers with Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj operating round the wicket.
While acknowledging during a discussion on India News that there is still a long way to go before the WTC final, Reetinder Sodhi pointed out that Mohammed Siraj is a front-runner to play the encounter for now.
“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,” said Sodhi.
The former India all-rounder highlighted that Mohammed Siraj’s name being taken ahead of Ishant Sharma proves the Hyderabad-born speedster’s dramatic rise in international cricket.
“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,” added Sodhi.
Jasprit Bumrah is a certainty in the Indian playing XI. Kohli talking about his plans involving Mohammed Siraj and Shami appears to have ruled out the experienced Sharma, unless the team management opts to go into the match with a four-pronged seam attack.
“Mohammed Siraj probably bowls the best against left-handers” – Saba Karim
Saba Karim believes Mohammed Siraj’s perceived effectiveness against southpaws might have earned him Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri’s votes.
“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,” said Karim.
Mohammed Siraj has dismissed left-handers six times among the sixteen wickets he has taken in the longest format of the game. He was particularly effective against David Warner, whom he dismissed twice in the two Tests they played against each other.