Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh has recently revealed that he would choose the young pacer Mohammed Siraj in place of veteran Ishant Sharma in the playing XI of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand for his remarkable rise in recent times.
He, however, shared his reason behind this as well. “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 Singh told PTI on Thursday.
Notably, Siraj has been in great form since his debut in Tests during the Australia series. Later he did well in the England series as well as in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“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,” he again 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.”
However, Harbhajan Singh also opened up about the young opener Shubman Gill, who recently had a poor run against England and in the IPL as well. But the veteran believes that Gill has worked on his flaws and hoped he would come out well during the upcoming series in England as well.
“A good first innings score of 375 to 400 will set up the match nicely for Indian pace attack. But for that Gill needs to bat well. Rohit has had enormous white ball success in England during World Cup and he is an experienced hand. You don’t want a situation where Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are every time walking in at 15 for 2. You should also give a start which allows them to build and consolidate,” Harbhajan Singh concluded.