With the World Test Championship Final in touching distance, Team India has started practicing in full tilt and one of the major headaches they have to sort out is to identify the right playing XI irrespective of the pitch conditions for the final. They did create history in Australia by beating the home side with 6th and 7th choice bowlers which meant that Indian talent pool has reached unimaginable heights and now with all their first choice players available, the veteran off spinner Harbhajan Singh wants this budding fast bowler to play ahead of Ishant Sharma.
Ishant Sharma is one of the best Indian bowlers in tests not only for India but also in world cricket for the past 3 years or so. Ishant Sharma 2.0 has been nothing but a phenomenon and his immaculate control and accuracy has peaked like a dream.
The KKR spinner ignored the mainstay Ishant Sharma in his playing XI for the big game and preferred Mohammad Siraj who was mighty impressive in his debut series in Australia and against England in India. Here’s what Harbhajan Singh had to say about his choice.
If I was the captain, I would go with three pure fast bowlers. In that case, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami pick themselves. In this final, I would like to go with Mohammed Siraj ahead of Ishant Sharma
Mohammed Siraj is someone who can move the ball both ways off the wicket and has the pace to rattle the batsmen and this has played a major role in the veteran off spinner picking Mohammad Siraj over Ishant Sharma.
“If you leave some grass on the surface, Siraj with his pace will be lethal. Trust me, New Zealand batters won’t find him easy as he not only hits the deck but also gets to move the ball off the pitch at brisk pace. He can create awkward angles for batsmen,” Harbhajan said.
Having said that, Ishant Sharma is the leader of the attack and no think-tank would drop a bowler of Ishant’s caliber anywhere in the world let along in England where the conditions are tailor made for the lanky fast bowler.