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India vs England: Mohammed Siraj Expected To Replace Ishant Sharma In Tests In England

By: Cricketnext Staff

Last Updated: July 08, 2021, 11:05 IST

Mohammed Siraj (AFP Photo)

Mohammed Siraj (AFP Photo)

Mohammed Siraj will in all likelihood find a place in the Indian XI when the five-Test series against England commences from the 4th of August.

Mohammed Siraj is expected to replace Ishant Sharma in the playing XI when the five-Test series between India and England commences from early August next month. Siraj did not play in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) against New Zealand in Southampton and that had raised a lot of questions on the composition of the side given the helpful conditions in England.

India had decided to change their overseas combination and went in with 5 bowlers at Southampton. But with both R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the XI, they opted for the experience of Ishant Sharma over Mohammed Siraj in the XI. While Ishant did pick three big wickets in the first innings, a lot of pundits and analysts felt that Siraj would have been more threatening in the helpful conditions in Southampton.

The Indian pace attack could not dismantle the lower-order and tail quickly which meant that New Zealand scored invaluable runs and took a vital first innings lead in the match. Also, chasing 139 in the fourth innings, the Indian pace trio was ineffective and could not pick a single wicket between them as New Zealand went on to win by 8 wickets.

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Siraj had a great start to his Test career and showed great character and skill rising to the occasion in Australia. With the quartet of Shami, Bumrah, Ishant and Umesh Yadav not being available or sustaining injuries through the course of the series, it was Siraj who took charge and led the pace attack and returned as the highest wicket-taker for India in the historic series which they went on to win 2-1.

Overall, Siraj has played 5 Tests and picked 16 wickets at an average of 28.25 and economy rate of under 3.

He bowls an immaculate line and length at a brisk pace and also has the ability to move and ball around in English conditions.

Sources in the BCCI realised that India may have missed a trick by not picking Siraj in the XI for Southampton and have given indications that he will be a definite starter for the five-Test series against England. The chances of both Ashwin and Jadeja playing the course of the series are bleak but even if that were the case, one of Ishant or even Bumrah may sit out of the XI to accommodate Siraj.

“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 sources.

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first published:July 08, 2021, 11:00 IST
last updated:July 08, 2021, 11:05 IST