Siraj robbed of being Bumrah's bowling partner at T20 World Cup with Hardik surprise: 'Not there yet, leaks lot of runs' | Crickit

Siraj robbed of being Bumrah's bowling partner at T20 World Cup with Hardik surprise: 'Not there yet, leaks lot of runs'

Jun 04, 2024 04:52 PM IST

Hardik Pandya, not Mohammed Siraj, should be Jasprit Bumrah's new-ball bowling partner, feels a former India T20 World Cup winner.

With just over 24 hours left for India's T20 World Cup opener against Ireland, pretty sure the captain and coach are scurrying through the team combination. But India's batting depth isn't the only good headache Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid are grappling with. The bowling strength is equally threatening and just how many frontline bowlers make it to the Probably XI is anyone's guess. Out of them, one name is certain – Jasprit Bumrah, but the conundrum starts with his bowling partner. Who between Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh will share the new ball?

No Mohammed Siraj in India's Playing XI for the Ireland game?(PTI)
No Mohammed Siraj in India's Playing XI for the Ireland game?(PTI)

Well, Robin Uthappa's preference for Arshdeep means no place for Siraj in the Playing XI against Ireland in New York on Wednesday. The reason behind the snub is that Uthappa is not convinced of the pacer's death overs bowling, especially in the first half of the IPL, where Siraj cut a disappointing figure. Siraj picked up 15 wickets from 14 matches for Royal Challengers Bengaluru but his economy rate was a concerning 9.19. Even while bowling in T20Is for India, Siraj has bled runs at 8.78. Uthappa felt RCB didn't use him judiciously and while he admits that with the new ball he is dangerous, his performances in the last few overs of the innings has some work to be done.

"For Bumrah, I would definitely go with Arshdeep. Bumrah, Arshdeep… I am quite confused. Seamers would be Hardik, and Shivam Dube. And I still feel like that's a solid one because it gives you strength in the death bowling," Uthappa told Ravichandran Ashwin on the latter's YouTube channel.

"Because if you go with Siraj, somewhere I am not confident of Siraj as a death-bowling option just yet. Up front, he is devastating. He is really good with the new ball. RCB misused him with the new ball and giving him the third, fourth or fifth over. They should have handed him the ball in first over and said 'go get us wickets'"

Uthappa fancies the idea of Hardik as Bumrah's new-ball partner

Leaving Siraj out wasn't the only surprising statement from Uthappa. The member of India's 2007 T20 World Cup winning squad, in fact, backed Hardik Pandya to open the bowling along with Bumrah. While heaping praise on Siraj and his capability to wreak havoc when the ball is new and doing things, Uthappa feels Arshdeep with Bumrah is a brilliant combo for India to go to in the death while reuniting the Mumbai Indians pair to start the innings.

Siraj has the ability to swing the ball away naturally and just land the ball on the seam. The ball comes back and straightens. That, I am sure even he doesn't know how he does it. So how would the batters know? Because he is releasing an outswinger. Comes back in and straightens. That is unplayable.

With the new ball, he is almost as dangerous as Bhuvi is. At the death, I would say he is not there yet. I have seen him leak a lot of runs in the middle overs and death overs. He goes to that slower ball quite a bit and it's very easy to pick it up early. So for me, I feel Arshdeep is a better option, especially in the death. I would have Hardik open the bowling because he has the speed now and he can swing it."

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