According to Zaheer, Siraj appears to be in full command of his team at the time, and he will be a “big asset” to the squad whenever the first-choice players come back. India rested a set of players versus New Zealand, notably Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami.
Siraj, who was not selected for the Kanpur Test, which concluded in a draw, was called up for the Mumbai Test, and he did not disappoint, bowling an inspired new-ball stint (3/19) in the first innings to spark New Zealand’s downfall, as they were bowled out for 62 in reply to India’s 325.
It seems Siraj is understanding well what works for him: Zaheer
“He [Siraj] is one of those bowlers who is growing in confidence; he has started to look more assured than before,” Zaheer told. “When you just start playing international cricket or Test cricket, you need a little bit of time to realize what your strengths are, how do you simplify things.”
“Whenever I look at Siraj now, I feel he has simplified things. He tries to attack the stumps, which is his strength, and that’s where you see his deliveries either jagging back in or shaping away from the batter. So, it seems he is understanding well what works for him. He is moulding things that way, and he is reaping the rewards,” he added.
Zaheer explained what significance Siraj brings to the squad even when all of their first-choice players are available: “Having him in the team will definitely ease things out, because when you have to rest your main bowler during the game – if say Jasprit Bumrah is playing, he becomes the main bowler, so if you have to use Bumrah sparingly or tactically, someone like a Siraj becomes a great help for the team“.