VVS Laxman. (Getty Images)
VVS Laxman. (Getty Images)

'He has been the pick of the Indian bowlers': VVS Laxman 'feels for' omitted India pacer

  • India vs England: VVS Laxman feels the fast bowler is unlucky to miss out, but at the same time, understood the logic behind Mohammed Siraj's inclusion.
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:12 PM IST

When Jasprit Bumrah was released from the Indian Test squad for the fourth and final Test against England, Virat Kohli knew he had to make a forced change to his Playing XI. The toss up for the spot was between Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj. Given his fine record at home, Umesh was expected to be part of the Playing XI, but the position eventually went to Siraj, who bowled remarkably well in Australia in the absence of his senior pros.

Former India batsman VVS Laxman feels Umesh is unlucky to miss out, but at the same time, understood the logic behind Siraj's inclusion, explaining how not playing any form of cricket since getting injured in Australia could have led to the management giving preference to the 26-year-old Siraj.

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"Mohammed Siraj has bowled well but I just feel for him (Umesh Yadav) because I think he has been the pick of the bowlers along with Mohammed Shami in Indian conditions. But I can understand the thought process of the Indian team management because after recovering, especially if you're a fast bowler, you want to play at least one First-Class before coming and playing a Test match," Laxman said on Star Sports.

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Umesh injured his right calf muscle during the third Test against Australia in Sydney in January, and was subsequently ruled out. He was then slated to take Shardul Thakur's place for the final two Tests against England, provided he could pass a fitness test, which the fast bowler eventually did. Of Umesh's 148 Test wickets, 96 have come on Indian soil. However, without any match practice, it was pretty obvious whom India were going to go with.

"You're going only with two fast bowlers you don't want him to break down during the Test. Siraj on the other hand is not only someone who can swing the new ball but he can come back and is very good with the old ball once it starts reversing," Laxman added.

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