Former Indian player Aakash Chopra is of the opinion Mohammed Siraj is a bowler who suits in Test cricket more than in ODIs.
Siraj, who made his debut in Melbourne last year, is on the song after he picked a match-haul of eight wickets against England in the second Test at Lord’s. Although the bowler missed one wicket in each of his innings from getting his name featured on the Lord’s honours board, he has impressed experts and fans with his incredulous spell.
Siraj played his only ODI against Australia in Adelaide in 2019 and his ability to move the red-ball makes Chopra believe that the Test format is made for the Hyderabad bowler and there is no match for him in that sphere.
Test is the format that is made for Mohammed Siraj, not even ODIs: Aakash Chopra
“At times, you see a bowler and feel that a particular format will be best for him, you say the same for batsmen as well, for Pujara, for Rahane. Similarly, when you look towards Siraj, you feel that Test is the format that is made for him, not even ODIs as much,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“There is no one matching him in red-ball cricket. His ball pitches and moves and such bowlers have huge value in Test cricket. Bowlers who swing the ball in the air have great value in ODIs and T20 cricket. The batsmen manage them in Test cricket but off the seam movement is best utilized in this format,” he added.
Biggest value of wicket-taking ability is in Test cricket: Aakash Chopra
England batsmen Mooen Ali and Jos Buttler looked settled at the increase in the final hour of the session and it looked as if the hosts were going to force a draw but Siraj ensured the match was won by India as he picked back to back wickets of Moeen and Sam Curran.
Later he got the wicket of Buttler, England’s last recognised batsman before he knocked off James Anderson’s off-stump to hand India a 151-run victory. Chopra said that a bowler’s ability to pick wickets makes him a valuable asset in Test cricket.
“He comes and bowls with effort, he can be slightly expensive once in a while, can give the boundary balls as well but has the wicket-taking ability. The biggest value for wicket-taking ability is in Test cricket, you can manage if you are restrictive in T20s and ODIs,” Chopra said.
“Siraj is not going to be restrictive at all, you cannot keep him on a leash, he is a deluge that will definitely come. In such a case, he might take his team also in the flow at times, he can be so expensive,” he added.
Earlier, this year Siraj picked his maiden five-wicket haul in Brisbane against Australia. His 5/73 included the important wickets of Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne as India won the historic series 2-1 and retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.