Former Indian cricketer and the President of Indian Cricketers’ Association, Ashok Malhotra has lashed out at Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the Indian team management for not backing Mohammed Siraj in the upcoming Test series against England. Notably, Siraj was added to the Indian pace setup as Ishant Sharma’s replacement in India’s tour of Australia.
Ishant had suffered a rib injury during the IPL that kept him barred from the tour of Australia. Siraj, however, had an experience to remember as he came out as India‘s leading wicket-taker in the Border-Gavaskar trophy. In the last Test match against Australia, Mohammed Siraj led the Indian pace attack, much to the surprise of world cricket.
As the Indian team kept on dealing with injuries, they had no other option but to field their young guns in the last Test of the series against Australia and the sheer will shown by the youngsters caught the world of cricket by surprise.
Ashok Malhotra Tears Apart Virat Kohli And Indian Team Management For Benching Mohammed Siraj Against England
Speaking exclusively to CricketAddictor, Ashok Malhotra said, “I am very disappointed after learning that Mohammed Siraj won’t be a part of the Indian first eleven in the first Test against England. These were the people who performed when the big guys were not there in Australia and now they are being chopped out because we are back at home. That is disappointing, to say the least. I would love to see Siraj ahead of Ishant Sharma.”
“It is unfair to bench Mohammed Siraj. I know that Ishant has played close to 100 Test matches, but when you needed someone in crisis, Siraj led the attack from the front. How can you bench him? Ishant Sharma hasn’t played a Test match since last year. Just on the basis of reputation will someone be in the team or in-form players will be preferred?” Ashok Malhotra questioned
“That’s the difference in Virat Kohli’s captaincy and Ajinkya Rahane’s captaincy as Virat Kohli plays with a team of superstars, not with players who win you games in Australia. This bothers me a lot. Yes, the Indian team has a great bench strength but is the bench strength only used to warm the bench? Like Shubman Gill is playing ahead of Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Siraj should also have played ahead of Ishant Sharma,” Malhotra further stated.
India and England Begin The Clash Tomorrow Onwards
The Indian Cricket Team and England will begin their long-awaited series from Friday, with the first Test of the four-match series being played at Chennai. Team India will move to Ahmedabad after the first two Tests to play the final couple of Tests and the five-match T20I series at the newly-built Motera Stadium.
The three-match ODI series will then be played entirely at Pune. The Test series will be of great importance for both the teams as it will decide who joins New Zealand in the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Virat Kohli will be returning as the skipper of the side after his wife Anushka gave birth to Virat Kohli’s first daughter, Vamika.