On the eve of the first ODI against New Zealand in Hyderabad, India skipper Rohit Sharma heaped praise on local lad Mohammed Siraj, stating that the latter will be crucial for the team in the upcoming Test series against Australia and the ODI World Cup at home later this year.
Siraj played a key role in India’s recent 3-0 ODI series win over Sri Lanka. With nine scalps to his name, the right-arm pacer was the highest wicket-taker in the three-match series at a remarkable average of 10.22.
"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 told reporters on Wednesday (January 18).
"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 upcoming Tests against Australia," he added.
While Siraj is part of the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, he has been rested for the T20Is against the Kiwis, scheduled to culminate on February 1.
After the ODI assignment, the fast bowler will be next seen in action in the four-match Test series against Australia, due to get underway on February 9 in Nagpur.