With the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma all fit and available for selection, it will be very interesting to see if Siraj gets the nod for the mega clash. The India squad also includes Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur.
Siraj meanwhile is keeping himself mentally prepared.
“For me, the World Test Championship final is just like a World Cup match. I will treat the WTC final like that. We have performed so well in the WTC and now this is the final match. I just want to go and give my best if given a chance,” Siraj told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
The Virat Kohli-led India are busy preparing themselves for the mega clash. The team played a four day intra-squad match to get into the groove of things.
But the Kiwis have undoubtedly had better preparation. New Zealand played a two Test series against England and won it 1-0. The Black Caps beat the English in their own backyard by eight wickets in the second Test at Edgbaston and have their tails up ahead of the WTC final, which begins on Friday, June 18.
With the win in the second Test, New Zealand also leapfrogged India to become the number 1 team in the ICC Test rankings.
(Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)
A few years earlier, the WTC final might have been tagged as a contest between the Indian batsmen and the Kiwi bowlers. But the emergence of a whole crop of quality Indian fast bowlers has meant that Virat Kohli has multiple quality picks at his disposal and the key contest could well be between the Indian quicks and the Kiwi batsmen, depending on the conditions.
Siraj, who has played 5 Tests, 1 ODI and 3 T20Is in his career so far, is confident that India will go on and win the coveted title and feels that India have an edge over the Kiwis, when it comes to the bowling units.
“Our bowling unit is so strong. It’s stronger than New Zealand’s. Virat bhaiya told me – ‘Mian, aise hi perform karte rahoge to bahot aage jaoge” (You will go a long way if you keep performing like this. I am eager to be a part of the playing eleven in the WTC Final. If given an opportunity, I would love to win the final for my team and with it the WTC trophy,” the 27 year old, who had a great tour of Australia earlier and was a key player in India’s unforgettable series win Down Under, further told TimesofIndia.com.
(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Siraj was in Australia (for the Test series) when the tragic news of his father’s death was conveyed to him by Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri. He was given the option to go back home and perform the last rites of his father. But the Hyderabad pacer decided to stay back and put the country and his cricket duties first.
Siraj paid a rich tribute to his late father by finishing the series against the Aussies as the highest wicket-taker for his team, claiming 13 wickets in 3 Tests, including one five-wicket haul.
Now, he wants to win the WTC title for his late father, who passed away just a few weeks before Siraj made his Test debut in Melbourne against Australia. A match in which he took 5 wickets.
“The WTC win will be a tribute to my father. I want to win as many trophies as I can to honour him,” Siraj signed off.