Since his debut against Australia, Mohammed Siraj has been a vital cog in the Indian pace-bowling arsenal, with 30 wickets in SENA countries, averaging just 32.2. Alongside Bumrah, the right-arm pacer is the joint highest-wicket taker in the Indian outfit, with 31 scalps, showing his worth with the ball. However, his absence with a hamstring injury comes as a mighty blow for the Indian team.
While the reports suggested that veteran pacer Ishant Sharma will replace Siraj in the lineup, Indian skipper Virat Kohli stated that the team has not yet taken a decision over the replacement. Kohli also confirmed that the management insisted on not flaring up Siraj’s injury.
"Siraj is obviously recovering from the (hamstring) niggle he had in the last game and at present, I don't think he is match-ready to take the field in the third Test," confirmed Kohli at the pre-match press conference ahead of the third Test.
"You cannot obviously risk a guy who is not at 100 per cent as a fast bowler and we know how important that is as the little niggle he had can extend into an injury," the skipper added.
Both Umesh Yadav and Ishant are fighting for a spot in the lineup, having already shown their worth in the previous away tour against England. Kohli added that India’s bench strength of pacers has forced the management into a discussion.
“We are yet to sit down and have a discussion on who would take Siraj’s place and I say that because of our bench strength. Everyone are at the top of their game and this becomes a point of discussion,” he added.
“We need to have a healthy discussion over that and come to a decision. I would rather be in this position than figure out other stuff.”
On his own form, Kohli insisted that he isn't too worried about the milestones and added that he takes a of happiness and pride over the process and not just the results.
“I take a lot of happiness and pride in the process and not just the results. I take pride and motivation to be in the moment and play for the country, to make impact performances. I’m not too worried about the milestones to prove anything to anyone. I don’t look at myself like that.”