The Indian team has drawn a Test series in South Africa. Not successful. But this is the record on South Africa’s toughest pitches.
It was even more interesting to lose the first match and win the second match. The Indian team has never won a single match in Cape Town. Despite having such a record, the most important reason why the Indian team won this tournament was Siraj.
Every ball that Siraj bowled like cannonballs on the first morning was going to disturb the South African players’ sleep for days to come. It is doubtful whether the young players of South Africa like Zorsi and Jansson have faced such bowling before.
Many will remember the days when Siraj’s cricketing career started to come to light. A run scorer in IPL matches, Tinda Academy bowler who started his life as a joke and taunt has now become India’s best bowler.
He takes fast wickets like fast food and ends the game without giving any chance to the opponent. There are many examples of this like the Asia Cup final, the match against Sri Lanka in the World Cup, yesterday’s Test. Siraj’s specialty is to pick up three wickets before taking a breather.
Siraj also has a tendency to babble like a cow at times. Like the first test. But when his day comes, he will roar like a lion and destroy the opponent. Elgar, who scored 185 runs in the first match, was dismissed for just 4 runs in this match. Siraj made it look easy in the second innings when the entire Indian team was struggling to figure out how to get Markram out.
Just 15 runs – six wickets. South Africa, who came with dreams of winning the series, never woke up after Siraj’s attack.
He has taken 5 wickets in the same innings in West Indies, Australia and South Africa. He has also taken 4 wickets in one innings in England. It has become a habit of Siraj to put his own stamp on all the places he goes. Apart from taking wickets, another skill of Siraj’s bowling is to bowl without tiring for a long time. He bowled 9 consecutive overs in the first innings. He is a combination of Shami and Ishant. If there is any criticism that he did not play well in one game, he will forget it in the next match.
Siraj is the next version of Virat Kohli’s aggression. Even though there is a complaint that he is hitting the opposing players unnecessarily, after taking a wicket Siraj jumps like Ronaldo to strike a nerve. Siraj is well versed in the art of turning even a little bit of help on the field to his advantage. That’s why he bowled better than South African players in South Africa.
For many who think that Test cricket will be destroyed by T20 leagues, players like Siraj are the hope. Test cricket is going to survive the age of players like Siraj who bowl relentless overs and patiently keep the net down.
Siraj has been a boon to us at a time when all three format bowlers are dying. Despite playing in many series like T20, Test, ODI and IPL, he keeps his body in shape without injury. He praises Bumrah after the match without any ego.
He is keen to bowl in all conditions. Siraj’s role will be crucial as India will play more Test matches in the coming days. Siraj has started crawling as the major of the fast bowling army created by Virat Kohli.