Why Mohammed Siraj is not playing India vs England 2nd Test | Crickit
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Why Mohammed Siraj is not playing India vs England 2nd Test

Feb 02, 2024 11:11 AM IST

Mohammed Siraj remains absent from Team India's XI for the second Test of the series against England.

Team India's star pacer Mohammed Siraj was absent from the XI for the second Test of the series against England. Rohit Sharma, the Indian captain, confirmed Siraj's absence after he won the toss in Visakhapatnam, opting to bat.

India's Mohammed Siraj in action during Day 1 of 1st Test match against England, at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday (Tharun Vinny)
India's Mohammed Siraj in action during Day 1 of 1st Test match against England, at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday (Tharun Vinny)

One of the key frontline pacers in the Indian lineup, Siraj had a relatively quiet outing in Hyderabad during the first Test, bowling only 11 overs throughout the two innings. Thankfully, the absence of Siraj isn't down to injury concerns. Rohit Sharma stated that the India fast bowler has been rested to manage his workload.

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“We have two unforced changes in Jadeja and KL (Rahul). Siraj… looking at how much cricket he has played in the past six months, we have rested him as well. We have got Mukesh (Kumar) and Kuldeep (Yadav) in, while Rajat Patidar makes his debut,” Rohit told Ravi Shastri during the toss.

In Siraj's absence, Avesh Khan was added to the squad.

Siraj has been on the road since the Asia Cup in August/September last year. After playing a key role in the side's win in the continental tournament, Siraj played in all matches of the 2023 ODI World Cup and was also a part of the white and red-ball squads during the tour of South Africa.

The pacer was rested for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan last month before he was brought back for the England Tests.

Siraj remains one of India's key bowlers in Tests, particularly in the absence of Mohammed Shami. However, a relatively spin-friendly surface in Visakhapatnam allowed the Indian team management to lessen Siraj's workload, as Mukesh Kumar stepped in for the senior pacer.

England, meanwhile, have again opted to take the field with only one pacer in James Anderson, as the veteran fast bowler replaced Mark Wood in the XI.

The visitors are leading the five-Test series 1-0, having registered a stunning 28-run win in the opening match in Hyderabad. Despite trailing by 190 runs in the first innings, England rode on Ollie Pope's 196 to set India a challenging target of 230; debutant Tom Hartley then took seven wickets to dismantle the Indian batting lineup.

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