Fast bowler Mohammed Siraj is expected to replace Ishant Sharma in the playing XI for the England series starting August 4. Despite his impressive outings against Australia and England, Siraj was not included in the Indian playing XI for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand. His exclusion raised several eyebrows as many believed that Siraj would have been more handy on the surface than Ishant Sharma.
However, if reports are to be believed, the young pacer is set to replace experienced Ishant Sharma. A source close to the team revealed that Mohammed Siraj is certain to feature in the Indian playing XI for the 1st Test against England.
“Even if the team management intends to stick with R Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja in the eleven, Siraj will probably replace Ishant (Sharma). But he’s in, and that’s certain,” state source.
Siraj had a great start to his Test career and led the Indian attack in the Border Gavaskar Trophy in the absence of Shami, Bumrah and Ishant, who were ruled out due to injuries. The pacer returned as the highest wicket-taker for India in a historic 2-1 series win over Australia.
Overall, Siraj has played just five Tests, picking up 16 wickets at and an average of 28.25. His ability to move the ball at a brisk pace can cause a lot of trouble for the English batsmen. While Ishant’s role in the team is to hold one end and bowl long spells, Siraj is a genuine wicket-taker and will be helpful for Virat Kohli, especially when Jasprit Bumrah is not in the best of form.
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