Cricket
India vs South Africa: Mohammed Siraj’s ordinary numbers in Tests go unnoticed

India vs South Africa: Mohammed Siraj’s ordinary numbers in Tests go unnoticed

Mohammed Siraj, despite being a force to reckon with in ODIs, hasn't been at his best in Tests.

It was a big surprise for the Indian bowlers as South Africa put on a decent score on a tough Centurion wicket, that had assistance to the fast bowlers. After bundling out India for 245, the South Africa batsmen were at their best as they led by 11 runs with five wickets in hand, at the end of the second day. A lot of credit for that goes to Dean Elgar as well, who is unbeaten on 140.

The Indian bowlers were quite expensive and wickets came at a premium for them. Prasidh Krishna gave away 61 runs in 15 overs for a wicket, while Mohammed Siraj leaked runs too and returned with figures of 2/63 in 15 overs.

Siraj’s Struggle in Tests

While he started out as a Test specialist, he has been quite ineffective in Tests in 2022 & 2023, and is sort of, going through a lean patch. He does get overshadowed by Bumrah and Shami, but for a bowler who has played 22 Tests, 61 wickets is not a great reflection. In fact, in the last two years, he has only 25 wickets in Tests, in 11 matches. That includes only one five-wicket haul in this time-period, that too against the West Indies. Interestingly, his only other five-wicket haul came against Australia, in Brisbane in 2021.

Siraj in South Africa

Siraj has been poor in South Africa so far. In the three Tests he has played in the nation so far, he has only five wickets, including 2 from the current match in Centurion. His bowling average climbs up to 43, and his strike rate becomes poor 76. Now in the absence of Mohammed Shami, he is one of the senior-most bowlers in the side, and needs to up his wicket-taking game to bring India close to a series win.

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