Fast bowler Mohammed Siraj made an impressive international debut in the longest format on Saturday as he picked up two key wickets for India on the opening day of the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The 26-year-old right-arm pacer from Hyderabad first got rid of the dangerous Marnus Labuschagne before trapping Cameron Green in front after a brilliant setup. He returned with figures of 2/40 from 15 overs as India bowled-out Australia for 195 after the hosts won the toss and elected to bat first.
Speaking to Cricket Australia after the opening day’s play at the MCG, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting said he was mighty impressed by Siraj’s spell on Saturday against Tim Paine and Co.
“I’ve liked his aggression, he’s been willing to use his short ball,” said Ponting of Siraj.
“But the thing I liked in the lead-up to Green’s wicket and even when Paine came to the crease at the 55-60 over mark, the ball started to swing and he’s a noted new-ball bowler. He’s someone who has done really well in domestic cricket in India with the brand new ball and I thought he might have his challenges here once the ball got a bit older but he’s bowled really well.
“His discipline has been good, his length has been really good. So I think he has looked very much a Test match bowler. In fact, looking at him today he’s actually looked a better bowler than Umesh Yadav as far as I’m concerned.”