‘Mohammed Siraj’s injury put India’s bowling unit on the backfoot’ – Dinesh Karthik on visitors’ struggles in the Johannesburg Test

‘Mohammed Siraj’s injury put India’s bowling unit on the backfoot’ – Dinesh Karthik on visitors’ struggles in the Johannesburg Test

Karthik also heaped praises on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane for scoring useful half-centuries in the second innings.

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik reckoned that Mohammed Siraj’s absence from  the bowling unit cost India the second Test against South Africa at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. In the very first day of the game, the 27-year-old Siraj hobbled off the park after tweaking his hamstring as he pulled up in his delivery stride.

After bowling 9.5 overs in the first innings, Siraj finished with figures of 6-0-37-0 in the second and bowled at an economy of 6.16. Karthik was of the opinion that the hamstring injury put Siraj in a lot of discomfort due to which the latter couldn’t be at his best.

Dinesh Karthik puts forth his opinions

“India, being the number one Test cricketing nation in the world, they would be little disappointed. They probably didn’t bowl at their best. And the main reason why India struggled through this test match was obviously the absence of Siraj.

“The hamstring injury not only put him in the backfoot but it put India’s bowling unit on the backfoot. Because he has the ability to seam the ball well in and out. And that would’ve been a massive difference,” Karthik was quoted as saying on Sportskeeda.

Karthik also had words of praises for Shardul Thakur, who picked up a seven-wicket haul in South Africa’s first innings and gave away 61 runs in 17.5 overs. Thakur also git rid of Aiden Markram in the second innings, although his efforts went in vain.

Moreover, Karthik heaped praises on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane for scoring useful half-centuries in the second innings. Both Pujara and Rahane have come under fire of late for not being able to perform to expectations.

“Credit to Shardul Thakur. He looked outstanding. He created opportunities every time he came on to bowl. Shardul was the biggest plus for India to come out from this Test apart from Rahane and Pujara batting so well. They batted brilliantly in the second innings. Very important knock for them and it was good to see the approach they had in their strokeplay,” he added.

India lost the second Test by seven wickets and the Proteas, led by Dean Elgar, managed to draw level in the three-match series. The third Test is scheduled to start on January 11 at Newlands in Cape Town.