Former India player Irfan Pathan has said that Mohammed Siraj showcased why he has been preferred over Mohammed Shami in India’s bowling attack as well. Siraj registered stunning figures of 6/21 in seven overs as India bowled out Sri Lanka for a mere 50 in the Asia Cup 2023 final in Colombo on Sunday, September 17. The Indian openers, Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill, then chased down the total in just 6.1 overs as well.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Pathan said: “You might see the degree of swing but the late swing and control you saw in Mohammed Siraj’s bowling, that is why a bowler like Mohammed Shami is sitting outside. You won’t find an international team where a wicket-taker who bowls with an upright seam like Mohammed Shami doesn’t get a place in the playing XI.”
However, while observing that Siraj had to bring something special to the table to play ahead of Shami, the veteran also added that the Hyderabad seamer was amazing in Sunday’s game. Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah also gave India their first breakthrough by dismissing Kusal Perera and later Siraj picked up the next six wickets to reduce Dasun Shanaka and Co. to 33/7 as well.
He stated: “So who is playing in place of him (Shami) – a bowler (Siraj) who swings the ball both ways and bowls around 140 kph. So you need to do something special. He is doing special things but what he did today was extremely special. You might feel the Sri Lankan batters could have done better but Mohammed Siraj forced them to make mistakes. It was high-class bowling. He tried to dismiss batters by making them drive.”
“Sadeera Samarawickrama’s wicket – there was no square leg and he bowled inswing. He deceived Charith Asalanka with a fuller length. The ball was either going away or coming in, or he was using the angle. He showed that it is not a bad thing to bowl in the slot, around the four-meter length, with the new ball,” Irfan Pathan concluded.