The Rookie Turned Regular, How Siraj Is Unbreakable And Undroppable

There are few Indian pacers, with the distinction of Bumrah, who have converted into Test cricket as effortlessly or quickly as Siraj. Like Javagal Srinath before him, Ishant Sharma ate up the hours and games to develop into solid bowlers.

In recent times, the rise of Indian cricket has been based on an abundance of riches in the fast-bowling department. And that’s because Ravichandran Ashwin, probably the best spinner globally, has been unable to secure a spot in the playing XI for the current match. 

In most cases, a fifth-choice pacer’s return to health must not necessitate any changes to a successful combo, let alone a problem. But Shardul Thakur, who appeared in the Trent Bridge Test, is much more than a footnote; he’s a tempting prospect. He carries with him a penchant for constantly probing bigger pitches, as well as his batsmanship.

In such cases, the less skilled member of the group is typically the one to go. But it’s not so simple in India, where Mohammed Siraj, India’s least skilled and unskilled lower-order batsman, is also the least droppable, with Jasprit Bumrah. He has established himself as an unstoppable resource, a vital and valuable constituent of India’s fast bowling immense wealth, just seven tests into his working life. It is a testament to the progress he has made since breaking into Test cricket in Australia.

There are few Indian pacers, except Bumrah, who have converted into Test cricket as effortlessly or quickly as Siraj. Although Ishant Sharma and, farther back, Javagal Srinath ate up time and games to evolve into the strong bowlers, they finally became. Umesh Yadav and Zaheer Khan, for example.

Siraj’s game knowledge is intuitive, and he knows precisely what lengths to bowl on which ground and versus which batsman. Team agility in alternating lengths is so effective that he provides tactical freedom to his skipper Virat Kohli. He could be a complete strike bowler, an enforcer, or a worker. He was an executioner for much of the first innings at Lord’s, but he switched to a strike bowler in the second. He began his career in Australia as a ‘keep it tight at one end’ bowler. Siraj constantly comes in with unwavering energy, no matter what character he’s playing. Bharat Arun, India’s bowling trainer, once said, “You recommend something, and he has the ability and attitude to produce it properly.”

Endowed with Resources.

Siraj is an all-condition bowler not simply because of his mentality or lack of arrogance but mainly because of his skills. On many grounds, his speed, both kinds of swings, back-benders, cutters, slower balls, yorkers, and bouncers make him a formidable opponent.

But it’s his aggressiveness, the fire-and-brimstone ferocity he puts on his sleeve, that captivates him the most. He’s the nearest bowler India has to captain Kohli’s style. The emotive outpouring in the middle, the cynical shush-up wicket celebrations, and the decency to protest to the umpires about racial taunts he received while playing in Melbourne. He can pump excitement into a drab match with his natural enthusiasm. He avoids going into the realm of theatrics in the process. He is unmistakably not Sreesanth in a newer guise. He appears to be the incomplete command of his rage and understands when to put the brakes on.

Man for big moments

His ferocity can shift the flow and tempo of games. His triple twin blows at Lord’s are a big part of the story. 

* Whenever he dislodged Sibley in the first innings, the English openers appeared to have survived the new-ball storm. The following ball went to No. 3 Haseeb Hameed. 

* A familiar foe, Moeen Ali, appeared to be set before Siraj removed him and blew out Sam Curran as well. 

* Jos Buttler appeared to be bringing England to safety, which was not an awful job with less than ten overs remaining. Siraj, on the other hand, overcame his reluctance and eliminated James Anderson.

Every scenario is uncomfortably familiar to Indian cricket fans. First-change bowlers have lost new-ball stress in the history, the opposing lower order has clung on courageously and flipped the game on its head, and unexpected lower-order champions have arisen — India has produced champions out of Ali and Curran on multiple occasions. Even Anderson’s most significant Test score of 81 came at India’s cost. Siraj, on the other hand, made sure that such topics would not be repeated. He knows how to untangle any knot.

Based on seven proofs, it might be absurd to call him. Take a glance at the bouts, which are the real thing. The life of a fast bowler is filled with danger. Mistakes and stress may pummel them; defects in his technique might emerge, rhythm might elude them, and the swing might fade. Despite all of the intangibles, Siraj emanates a kind of confidence that leads one to believe he is the real deal.

Title: The Rookie Turned Regular, How Siraj Is Unbreakable And Undroppable

Posted On: 25/08/2021

Author: Tony Willets