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WTC Final: 3 reasons why India’s playing XI should not include Mohammed Siraj

By Bet Barter

June 12, 2021

The Indian team is finalizing its playing XI for the championship game. Virat Kohli is trying to fit pacer Mohammed Siraj in the playing XI for the WTC final. But some experts believe that it would not be in India’s best interest to play Siraj in the summit clash. Some reasons why Siraj should not get field time in the title match is as follow:

Lack of experience

Mohammed Siraj is a quality bowler but he did not make his Test debut until recently in the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Thereby, he has experience of playing just five tests under his belt.

His bowling attack in Australia was good, and so he was selected to play the two home Test against England. However, in the home series against England, he bowled just 26 overs in a spin-friendly pitch in Chennai and Ahmedabad. But the conditions in England would be different from that of India. Moreover, Siraj does not have enough experience of playing in English conditions.

Thereby, playing more experienced bowlers like Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav could work in India’s favor. Both veteran players have faced the Kiwis before and have a better understanding of the English conditions.

Lack of familiarity with Dukes ball

Mohammed Siraj has no experience of bowling with Duke's ball in Test cricket. Since Siraj has only played Test cricket in Australia and India, he is used to bowling with SG and Kookaburra ball. But in England, Duke's ball is used for international cricket.

It may not appear to be a big issue because Siraj would have some practice in the nets with the Duke's ball. But in the WTC final, even a wayward throw or two at the beginning of the match could change the game. It can give New Zealand the advantage and take the match out of India’s control.

Moreover, veteran players like Ishant Sharma and other Indian pacers have played in England before and achieved success with Duke's ball. So, they have better chances than Siraj of keeping the game under control with the Duke's ball.

Mohammed Siraj is no doubt an excellent bowler. But he could weaken the bowling attack of India because of his overall lack of experience. Thereby, he should not take to the field on 18th June for the World Test Championship final in Southampton.

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