Ex-Pakistan star ignores Jasprit Bumrah to name ‘best bowler' in lead-up to World Cup: 'No one took him seriously'
The ex-Pakistan star also credited Virat Kohli for making the star bowler the ‘current best pacer’ in world cricket.
Even though Team India is boosted by the return of a fit-again Jasprit Bumrah in their World Cup squad, former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir still believes that the senior fast bowler is not the current best bowler in world cricket. A season marred by a back injury and rehabilitation, Bumrah will have a lot to prove as the senior pacer is set to lead India's world-class pace attack at the grandest stage of them all.
While Bumrah was on a long road to recovery in the World Cup season, the world of fast bowling witnessed the rapid rise of speedster Mohammed Siraj. Complementing senior pacer Mohammed Shami, pace ace Siraj became the face of the Indian bowling attack in the absence of Bumrah. Thanks to his match-winning performances for the Men In Blue, Siraj is somewhat undroppable in a lineup that features both Shami and Bumrah.
'Virat Kohli has played a big role in his career'
When asked to name the current best bowler in the lead-up to the World Cup, former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir hardly wasted any time showering praise on speedster Siraj. “I am really impressed with him. No one took him seriously or rated him highly when he stepped into white-ball cricket. The way he has progressed and performed in white ball cricket is just amazing and outstanding. He is improving by leaps and bounds. He is a captain's man. He is phenomenal with both the red and white ball. I would give credit to RCB. They have played a big role in his development. Virat Kohli has played a big role in his career. In fact, Siraj has said this many times that Virat supports him a lot,” Amir told The Times of India.
Siraj regains top spot in ICC rankings
Amir acknowledged that Siraj remained an integral part of India's playing XI across all formats. Pacer Siraj is heading to the World Cup after a brilliant campaign for India at the Asia Cup. The Indian speed merchant turned the blockbuster final between India and Sri Lanka into a one-sided contest with his bowling masterclass. Siraj recorded the second-best figures for any bowler in the One Day International (ODI) edition of the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
He became the first Indian bowler to take four wickets in an over during an international match. Thanks to his magical figures (6 for 21), Sri Lanka were bowled out for 50 - its second-lowest total in the history of ODI cricket. Siraj completed his five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in just 16 balls. The India fast bowler also regained the top spot in the ICC men’s ODI bowling rankings.
'India didn't write off Siraj'
“That's a good sign. India did a very good thing that they didn't write off Siraj. India supported him in every situation. Siraj gained a lot of confidence from that support. India continued to play him in every format. In Tests, he is at par with Shami and taking India's pace attack to another level. He is doing well for India in all formats. India were totally dependent and stuck on Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah in the last 3-4 years. But now their boys and new bowlers have started chipping in, which is a brilliant sign for the team,” Amir added.
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