Tension remains surrounding Jasprit Bumrah’s replacement at the 2022 T20 World Championship. Mohammed Shami, Deepak Chahar and Mohammed Siraj all remain in contention but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to settle on the name of the player who will replace Bumrah. Although insiders think Shami is the front-runner to replace Bumrah, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar thinks Siraj is “really pushing the veteran pacesetter onto the pitch”.
Bumrah has been struggling with a back injury for the past month. He missed the 2022 Asian Cup over the same concerns and was ruled out of the T20I against South Africa with a stress fracture in his lower back after featuring in a couple of games against Australia.
Shami, touted by many as Bumrah’s ideal replacement, wasn’t quite fit and available either. He had recently contracted Covid-19 but what is even more worrying is the fact that he has not played a single T20I for India since last year’s T20 World Cup.
Although Shami will have some practice matches to show off his fitness, Mohammed Siraj’s performance in the 2nd ODI against South Africa drew attention.
On a wicket that didn’t help the bowlers much, Siraj produced numbers of 3 to 38. Even more special was the fact that Siraj bowled 4 overs in the last 10 overs of the inning.
Manjrekar, who has been following Siraj’s performance closely, believes the pacemaker will challenge Shamis severely for the injured Bumrah’s place in the World Cup squad.
“Siraj is seriously pushing Shami for that bumrah spot in the squad,” he tweeted.
Siraj is seriously pushing Shami for that bumrah spot in the squad.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) October 9, 2022
Even Wasim Jaffer praised Siraj’s performance in the match.
“SA reached 200 in 36.2 overs with 7 weeks remaining. Great bowler comeback to keep them at 278/7. Only 57 runs in the last 10 overs. Siraj the outstanding,” wrote the former India opener.
SA reached 200 in 36.2 overs with 7 weeks remaining. Great bowler comeback to keep them at 278/7. Only 57 runs in the last 10 overs. Siraj the outstanding. #INDvSA
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) October 9, 2022
Courtesy of Siraj’s exploits, India managed to limit the Proteas to a score of 278 runs. At one point, it looked like the tourists would easily total over 300 runs in the match.
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