Harbhajan Singh leaves out India’s pace spearhead from his playing XI for WTC final
Harbhajan Singh feels Mohammed Siraj's recent form will pave the way for his inclusion in the playing XI for the WTC final.
Updated - Jun 11, 2021 10:23 am
The countdown for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship final (WTC) between India and New Zealand is just a week away and the experts and fans are out brainstorming on what would the Indian team’s lineup look like ahead of the summit clash. While some say Mohammed Siraj should get a look in the playing XI, others feel senior statesmen Ishant Sharma should be a must due to his experience in the England conditions.
Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has now given his verdict for the same and he feels Sharma might miss out due to Siraj’s recent good form and considering that he can move the ball both ways with his seam and swing. The 27-year-old was the find of the series Down Under for India as he picked 12 wickets and even led the bowling attack in Gabba in the absence of others pacers in the squad.
Harbhajan stated he will go with Siraj if he was the captain of the Indian team. “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 as reported by Hindustan Times.
Harbhajan Singh picks Mohammed Siraj over Ishant Sharma for the WTC final
While the former veteran off-spinner lauded Sharma’s contribution to India’s rise to the top, he also felt that Siraj deserves a chance due to his recent brilliant performances.
“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.
While the verdict on the nature of the pitch is not yet out, India are prepared for a green top at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, the venue for the marquee clash. Harbhajan feels Siraj with his lethal pace will be a handful on those pitches.
“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.