Former Indian bowler Ashish Nehra has addressed the problem of plenty in the Indian pace bowling attack, insisting that Mohammed Siraj “could be the guy” who will partner Bumrah and Shami in the first test against South Africa.
“Look, I feel Bumrah and Shami are the two automatic choices in India’s pace attack,” Nehra said.
“Talking of the third pacer, Mohammed Siraj could be the guy. Ishant (Sharma) was injured and left out of the second test versus New Zealand (in Mumbai), while Siraj did fairly well in that game. It also depends on the team management’s thought process and game plan, and who’s looking sharper at nets.
“But the good thing is the number of options India have as far as their pace battery is concerned. They even have someone like Umesh (Yadav), who’s super-experienced now with the number of test matches (51) he has played so far. So it’s a good situation the team finds itself to be in.”
Alongside the aforementioned players, Shardul Thakur is also a part of the Indian pace attack in the squad but he is likely to take over the pace-bowling all-rounder’s role in the XI.
Team India will return to action in tests on 26 December when the side takes on South Africa in the three-match away series. The series marks the return of a majority of first-choice players who were either rested or injured for the home series against New Zealand earlier this month.
While fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami make a return to the squad, the contention for a third pace-bowling spot in the XI is heating up after a number of pacers have produced impressive performances in whites. Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj have all put out commendable outings of late, adding to the team management’s dilemma as it prepares for the first test in Centurion.