The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has taken a decision to rest Mohammed Siraj from the upcoming ODI series against West Indies, focusing on workload management for the star pacer. After playing both Test matches in the Caribbean tour, Siraj has been given a few days’ rest due to a slight injury concern. The BCCI’s medical team revealed that the 29-year-old complained of a sore ankle. Despite picking up 7 wickets, including a five-wicket haul in the Test series, the management opted to prioritize his fitness.
Alongside Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat, and Navdeep Saini, Siraj has flown back home. The BCCI clarified that there won’t be any replacement player for the ODI series, which is scheduled to commence on July 27, 2023, in Barbados.
Expected to lead the pace attack alongside Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur, Mukesh Kumar, Umran Malik, and star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Siraj’s rest comes as the team gears up for the upcoming white-ball series against Australia, Ireland, and the Asia Cup, focusing on their preparations for the ICC ODI World Cup to be held at home.
UPDATE – Mohd. Siraj has been released from Team India’s ODI squad ahead of the three-match series against the West Indies.
The right-arm pacer complained of a sore ankle and as a precautionary measure has been advised rest by the BCCI medical team.
More details here… pic.twitter.com/Fj7V6jIxOk
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 27, 2023
During the second Test against the Windies, Siraj showcased his talent by taking a fifer, earning him the Man of the Match award as the match ended in a draw. In the 2023 World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, he also claimed five wickets, though India couldn’t avoid defeat.
The first ODI will take place at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on July 27, Thursday. While BCCI’s decision may disappoint fans eager to see Siraj in action, it underscores the team’s strategic approach to managing player fitness and ensuring they are in top form for crucial upcoming tournaments. Siraj, who last played an ODI for India in March 2022, has emerged as a vital asset in the 50-overs format, being the leading wicket-taker for the Men in Blue since 2022, with 43 scalps to his name.