Mohammed Siraj celebrates with his India teammates© AFP
Former India seamer Zaheer Khan termed Mohammed Siraj’s spell on Day 2 of India vs New Zealand second Test match in Mumbai as a “game-changing” one. Siraj, who replaced the injured Ishant Sharma in India’s XI at the Wankhede Stadium, bowled a fiery spell with the new ball and accounted for Will Young, Tom Latham and Ross Taylor to send early jitters in the New Zealand camp from which they never really recovered. India bowled New Zealand out for 62 – the lowest-ever Test total on Indian soil and in the end went on to win the match by a massive margin of 372 runs to take the two-match series 1-0. The first Test in Kanpur had ended in a draw.
Speaking to the users of BalleBaazi.com, Zaheer Khan, the brand ambassador of the fantasy sports vertical of Baazi Games, said the ball that Siraj bowled to clean up Ross Taylor was “magical.”
“Another game-changing spell was by Siraj when he took 3 early wickets in his 1st spell. On a pitch that is assisting only spinners, pulling off a magical wicket like that of Ross Taylor was amazing. It was great to see Siraj playing to his strengths and attacking the 3 wickets in view. Then, it was our spinners trio- that not only added depth to our batting but the way they washed out the tail was great. Ashwin, Axar and Jayant were spot on,” Zaheer said.
The former left-arm fast bowler was all praise for Mayank Agarwal. The India opener returned back to form with a superb 150-run knock in the first innings. This was Mayank’s fourth Test hundred. The right-hander also scored a vital 62 when India needed quick runs to declare in the second innings.
“I think Mayank Agarwal is my first choice because he batted at a time when the wicket was doing a bit and his innings in the 1st half of the test took the game too far from New Zealand’s grass,” he added.
Zaheer analysed the shortcomings of the New Zealand team in the match and said, “I think they were just a bit too dependent on the bowling and on Ajaz Patel. Kyle Jamieson did have an off day but even when you look at Southee, there was not much he could produce as far as wickets were concerned. The batting was pretty much ordinary throughout the game except for Daryl Mitchell and Will Young and maybe just a bit the way Nicholls was batting. The intent was there but again against the spinners the Kiwis looked clueless.”
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