Siraj has shown remarkable improvement, should play WTC final: Harbhajan Singh
New Delhi: Pacer Mohammed Siraj's 'remarkable improvement' should be rewarded with a place in the playing XI in the World Test Championship final again...
New Delhi: Pacer Mohammed Siraj's "remarkable improvement" should be rewarded with a place in the playing XI in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, reckons former India spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Harbhajan also says young opener Shubman Gill must get back to his groove after a cheap run against England and in the IPL at home since a good start is paramount in seam and swing friendly conditions in England.
Asked about his preferred team combination for the final, Harbhajan gave his reason why he feels Siraj can pip Ishant for a place in the final XI. "If I was the captain, I would go with three pure fast bowlers. In that case, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami pick themselves. In this final, I would like to go with Mohammed Siraj ahead of Ishant Sharma," Harbhajan told PTI on Thursday.
"Ishant is a brilliant bowler but for this game, my choice is Siraj, who has shown remarkable improvement in the last two years."
For Harbhajan, a player's current form should always be taken into account and that's where Siraj, whose five-wicket haul in Brisbane was crucial in India's series win, should get a look-in.
"You have to look at present scenario. Siraj's form, pace and confidence makes him a better choice for this final match. The kind of form he is in last six months, he looks like a bowler who is hungry for his chances. Ishant has gone through some injuries of late but has been a great servant of Indian cricket no doubt," the off-spinner said.
"If you leave some grass on the surface, Siraj with his pace will be lethal. Trust me, New Zealand batters won't find him easy as he not only hits the deck but also gets to move the ball off the pitch at brisk pace. He can create awkward angles for batsmen," India's third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket observed.