Mohammed Siraj was the star with the ball for India in the recently concluded ODI series against Sri Lanka. The pacer picked 9 wickets in the three-match ODI series. In the final ODI, where Indian batters piled on runs, Siraj registered figures of 32 for four as he helped India bundle out Sri Lanka for 73.
With the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Siraj is set to lead the pace line-up in the coming series. Ahead of the ODI series against New Zealand starting on January 18, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has backed the Hyderabad-born bowler.
“He is a very important player for us. He has improved his line and length a lot in the last two years. Now we are getting to see his outswing. He was not known for his swing but he did that against Sri Lanka. That is very good for the team if he can do that with the new ball consistently," Rohit Sharma said ahead of the first ODI in Hyderabad.
“He understands his bowling a lot better now which is a big thing in my view. He also knows what the team wants from him. All in all, he has become a very good bowler for us. He can take wickets in all phases and we need bowlers like him. We need to manage him and keep him fresh for the World Cup as well as upcoming Tests against Australia", the Indian skipper added.
Earlier, Siraj had talked about how a bad season in IPL changed his focus.
“When the IPL season went bad for me, I started focussing on white-ball cricket. I worked on it and grew in confidence. I stopped worrying about how my performance would go which was not the case earlier. I started focussing only on execution of line and length,” Siraj said in the post-match press conference on Sunday.