Mohammed Siraj Flies Back Home, Rested for West Indies ODIs


Indian cricket team’s standout fast bowler, Mohammed Siraj, has returned home from the West Indies after being rested for the upcoming ODI series in the Caribbean, as reported by ESPNCricinfo. Initially expected to lead the Indian pace attack in the absence of rested Mohammed Shami, the decision to rest Siraj was made to carefully manage his workload. During the West Indies series, Siraj showcased his prowess, contributing significantly to India’s performance by taking a five-wicket haul in the second Test in Trinidad.

As of now, there has been no official announcement on who will replace Siraj in the ODI squad. With the first ODI scheduled for Thursday, India will depend on the pace attack of Jaydev Unadkat, Umran Malik, Shardul Thakur, and uncapped (in ODIs) Mukesh Kumar.

Notably, Siraj is not part of the India squad for the five-T20I series in the Windies. The decision to rest him appears to have been made with India’s future commitments in mind. The ODI team is set to participate in the Asia Cup, commencing on August 30, with all matches scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka. This tournament will play a vital role in India’s preparations for the ODI World Cup scheduled for October-November. Given Siraj’s crucial role in the white-ball setup, his fitness and form are of utmost importance.

Throughout the year, Siraj has been a prominent figure in India’s ODI lineup, featuring in all the ODI series against Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Australia (all three-match series). Moreover, his stellar performances played a pivotal role in India’s 2-1 victory at the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Tests). Additionally, he impressed in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Royal Challengers Bangalore, claiming 19 wickets in 14 games. Notably, he was part of the India XI in the World Test Championship final against Australia last month.

The significance of Siraj’s well-being is heightened further by the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, who last played for India in September of the previous year. Although the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) revealed Bumrah’s gradual return to fitness and participation in practice matches at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, the exact date of his comeback remains uncertain.

Looking ahead, India is also scheduled to engage in a three-match bilateral series against Australia after the Asia Cup, which will be crucial for their preparations leading up to the highly anticipated home World Cup

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