Former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra has said Mohammed Siraj has evolved into a very good all-format bowler from being a red-ball specialist at the domestic level a couple of years ago.
Ashsih Nehra said he believes Mohammed Siraj is even ahead of Jasprit Bumrah, one of the highly-rated fast bowlers going around, when it comes to skill-level, especially variations.
Nehra’s words of praise for Mohammed Siraj comes after the Royal Challengers Bangalore fast bowler made a match-winning impact against Rajasthan Royals in their IPL 2021 encounter on Thursday. Siraj broke the back of the Rajasthan batting line-up, picking up the wickets of Jos Buttler and David Miller before returning to send back Rahul Tewatia.
Siraj’s figures of 3/27 in 4 overs helped RCB restrict RR to 177 in 20 overs in a high-scoring venue in Mumbai before Bangalore gunned down the target with 10 wickets to spare.
Siraj has begun IPL 2021 on a high, picking up 5 wickets in 4 matches and playing a crucial role for RCB with the new ball. Siraj has given away just 91 runs in 15 overs he has bowled so far in the new season at a staggering economy rate of little over 6.
“There was talk about a couple of years ago that he used to pick up 5-6 wickets in every match for India A with the red ball now he is a very good all-format bowler. There is no shortage of skill, he has all types of variations,” Nehra, who had worked with Siraj at RCB, told Cricbuzz.
“I would in fact say that skill wise, he is even ahead of Bumrah, if you talk of variations.
“He has a different slower one, there is no lack of speed, he can move the new ball. He needs to keep his fitness and sharpen his mind. If he can do these two things well, sky’s the limit,” Nehra added.
Siraj, who made his India debut as early as 2017 fell out of the national reckoning but the Hyderabad pacer made a strong comeback, leading the pace attack for RCB in IPL 2020 after strong domestic performances.
Siraj was recalled to the senior national team for a 4-match Test series against Australia last year. He did not play the series opener in Adelaide but the pacer topped the bowling charts for India with 18 wickets in 3 Tests as the visitors went on to clinch an emphatic 2-1 series win against Australia Down Under.
After India lost several of their senior pros to injuries, Mohammed Siraj led the bowling attack in the 4th and final Test in Brisbane. Siraj picked up a 5-wicket haul as India went on to become the first visiting side to beat Australia at the Gabba since the West Indies in 1978.