Former Team India chief selector MSK Prasad believes Ishant Sharma, a 105 Tests veteran might not get the nod ahead of Mohammed Siraj in the three-match Test series against South Africa. The much-anticipated series kicks off on December 26 (Sunday) in Centurion.
Ishant went wicketless in the Kanpur Test against New Zealand before missing the second Test in Mumbai after dislocating a finger on the left hand.
Although Ishant is among the leading wicket-takers for India in the longest format, he hasn’t been amongst the wickets of late. On the other hand, Mohammed Siraj has already Picked up 33 wickets with one five-wicket haul in 10 Tests and is India’s leading wicket-taker in Tests in 2021.
Speaking of India’s pace battery for the Boxing Day Test, MSK Prasad believes Siraj will be part of the pace quartet.
“Four bowlers in this line-up are now confirmed if all fit – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ashwin, and Mohammed Siraj. I don’t think Ishant will be considered ahead of Siraj on current form,” Prasad was quoted as saying in India Today.
Mohammed Siraj has come up the ranks since India’s campaign in the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy. He picked up a crucial 5-wicket haul in the 4th Test to break Australia’s dominance at the Gabba.
“Shardul Thakur is the best choice if Inda go with five bowlers” – MSK Prasad
Moreover, MSK Prasad, also a former Indian wicketkeeper, backed Shardul Thakur to make his way into the playing eleven if the visitors pick five bowlers. Prasad was of the opinion that Thakur lends depth to a batting lineup, having already scored 190 Test runs at an average of 38. Providing team India With some handy Runs down the order
“I think Shardul Thakur is the best choice if they go in with five bowlers as he also gives the option of a steady No.7 batter and we also have Ravichandran Ashwin,” he added.
Thakur made his debut in 2018, but it was only since the Border Gavaskar Trophy last year, he came up the ranks. Apart from picking up wickets, Shardul Thakur chipped in with handy cameos with the bat lower down the order.
India has picked six fast bowlers, in the squad namely Bumrah, Shami, Siraj, Ishant, Thakur, and Umesh Yadav For the Test Series vs The opening Test is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, December 26 at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. Johannesburg and Cape Town will host the other two Tests followed by a three-match ODI series.
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