Ahead of India’s bumper five-match Test series against England, Dale Steyn has opined that Mohammed Siraj’s attitude might come as a vital cog for India in the English conditions. Steyn also insisted that the pacers have to stay fit to play all the five Tests against England in the coming month.
Having made his white-ball debut earlier in 2017, Mohammed Siraj had a long wait before he could don the Indian whites at the international level, which came in 2020 against Australia Down Under. While in the series, he not only made an immediate impact but also showed a sustained level of form to help India wrap the series 3-1, becoming one of the pillars of India’s strength.
Since then, the pacer has only played the home series against England before being in the squad for the World Test Championship final, where he stayed on the bench. Ahead of the five-match Test series in England, former South African pacer Dale Steyn opined that Mohammed Siraj’s attitude might be vital for India’s chances in English condition.
"Mohammed Siraj is somebody who could come in. I think he brings a good attitude to the game. That's another thing we tend to forget when you're playing in England conditions. It's not just about where you put the ball but also the attitude you bring, getting in people's faces, making them play shots they don't particularly want to play - I think Siraj is somebody who can do that," Steyn told ESPNCricinfo.
Steyn also credited that Siraj’s attitude helped India to their consecutive Test series win in Australia. He opined that India might have relished playing him in the World Test Championship final, even though it meant that there would be a sacrifice of some more runs.
"I saw parts of that little bit of fight when he played in Australia and I immediately knew he's going to have a good Test career. Don't forget about the attitude of a fast bowler too. Maybe that's something India would have really relished in the World Test Championship final, but it would have come with the sacrifice of some more runs," the South Africa pacer added.
Alongside Siraj, India have named a well-stocked pace bowling unit, with the likes of Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma being in the reckoning for the first Test, in Trent Bridge. Steyn, however, stated that his advice to the Indian pace-unit would be to stay fit, in course to play all the five matches against England.
"I like what they have got right now. All those bowlers bring something different to the party. My advice is to stay fit. Five Test matches - that requires a lot of bowling. It's a lot of wickets to take, and if you're going to rely on your seamers to do a lot of bowling, you have to stay fit," Steyn added.