Mohamed Siraj to play WTC final instead of Ishant Sharma: Harbhajan Singh

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Virat Koli and Mohamed Siraj

Pacer Mohammed Siraj’s “remarkable improvement” should be rewarded with a place in player XI in the World Cup final against New Zealand, according to former India spinner Harbhajan Singh.

Harbhajan also says a young opener Shubman Gil must return to his furrow after a cheap run against England and c IPL at home, as good is paramount in friendly sewing and swing conditions in England.

Asked about the preferred team combination for the final, Harbhajan pointed out the reason why he thinks Siraj could put Ishant in a place in the final XI.

“If I were a captain, I would go with three clean fast bowls. In that case, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohamed Shami are elected. In this final, I would like to continue with Mohamed Siraj Ishant Sharma“Harbhajan told PTI on Thursday.

“Ishant is a brilliant bowler, but for this game my choice is Siraj, which has shown remarkable improvement over the last two years.”

For Harbhajan, the current form of the player must always be taken into account and this is where Siraj, whose five-wicket delivery to Brisbane was crucial to India’s series victory, needs to meet.

“You have to look at the current scenario. Siraj’s form, pace and confidence make him a better choice for this final match. The look he’s been in for the last six months looks like a bowling alley hungry for his chances. Ishant has suffered some injuries lately, but he was a great servant of Indian cricket, no doubt, “said the off-spinner.

“If you leave some grass on the surface, Siraj will be deadly at his own pace. Believe me, the New Zealand killers will not make it easy for him, as he not only hits the deck but also manages to move the ball off the pitch at a fast pace.” to create awkward angles for batsmen, “said the third tallest wicket player in the Cricket Test.

What impressed Harbhajan the most was this year’s IPL, in which Siraj disturbed Andre Russell during Kolkata Knight Riders’ game against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“I saw him in 2019 when Russell shot him all over the ground. This year I saw him make really accurate yorkers and constantly hit the ball from the right place after the ball. The pace also increased.

“Russell was beaten at a rapid pace during several deliveries. That’s the confidence he gained playing for India. He would look into the eyes of the batsmen and the tests are on their feet.”

At Gill, Harbhajan believed that the talented Punjabi boy would certainly work on his shortcomings and hoped to come out with all the weapons blazing in the next three months in England.

“A good result from the first inning from 375 to 400 will prepare the game well for an Indian tempo attack. But for that Gill has to fight well. Rohit has a huge success with white balls in England during the World Cup and is an experienced hand.

“You don’t want a situation where Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are every time you enter 15 for 2. You also need to start, allowing them to build and consolidate. “

The cold conditions in Southampton may not be very favorable for spinners, as the terrain is expected to remain stable throughout the course, but Harbhajan believes that two spinners in a five-man attack are the way forward if Hardik Pandya is not there.

“You play two spinners when the climate is on the hotter side. Cracks will appear and both will be effective. If left on the cooler side, the terrain, which consists mostly of black soil, will not break.”

“They can take the last call factor in time just before the match and also take into account the five-day forecast. I don’t see a case of four beats without Hardik Pandya in the setup. You can only play four beats if the pitch can’t be different from the outside. field, “he explained.

The veteran of the 103 tests believes that Ravindra JadejaWadding skills and the ability to spin make it an automatic choice for number seven.

“If you look at Judd’s performances in England, it’s as good as anyone. He’s been around for half a century and he’s a top-class bowling operator. The moment you don’t have Hardick to balance, Jadou automatically fits in, ”he said.

Also the fact that two spinners will give Kohli a chance to spin fast bowling for effective short bursts.

“But yes, how much they will come into play if it’s cold remains a question, as there may not be much help from the surface. Two spinners always allow you to spin your fast bowling while playing four fast men, meaning that one with security will be under -bould. ”



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