Former Australia captain, Ricky Ponting heaped high praises for Mohammed Siraj, who made his debut on the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne on Saturday (December 26). Siraj picked a couple of wickets after being introduced as the fifth bowler in the post-lunch session.
The right-arm pacer took the important wicket of Marnus Labuschagne. Siraj bowled on Labuschagne’s pads – on the leg stump line. The batsman flicked towards the leg gully where Shubman Gill took a good catch. Siraj got rid of Cameron Green by trapping him leg before wicket.
Ponting likes Siraj’s aggression with the ball as the seamer used the short ball to good use and pegged the batter’s back with it. Ponting observed that Siraj was able to generate some reverse swing as well with the old ball. He also talked about how the seamer set up Cameron Green with outswingers and then brought the ball back in.
“I have liked his aggression, he has been willing to use the short-ball. But the thing that I liked in the lead up to (Cameron) Green’s wicket and even when Tim Paine came to the crease, around the 55-60 over-mark, the ball started to swing,” Ricky Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“He is a noted new ball bowler and has done really well in domestic cricket in India with the brand new ball, and I thought he might have his challenges here once the ball got a little bit older, but he has bowled really well,” he added.
Today Siraj looked a better bowler than Umesh Yadav: Ricky Ponting
The 46-year-old even feels that the youngster bowled like a proper Test match bowler, even better than Umesh Yadav, who went wicketless in the first innings. The 3-time World Cup winner observed that the Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer had his wrist in a good position and bowled on good lengths which troubled the Aussie batters.
Ricky Ponting pointed out that there were plenty of lbw appeals when Siraj was bowling- also Tim Paine survived a close lbw call, as the umpire deemed him not out, and Hawkeye showed the ball to be clipping the stump.
“His (Siraj’s) wrist points have been good, his length has been good. He has had a lot of LBW shouts, obviously the wicket of Green, but he also had another review against Tim Paine, the ball was hitting the top of the stumps.
“So, he has looked very much a Test match bowler, in fact, looking at him today he has looked a better bowler than Umesh Yadav,” Ricky Ponting stated.