File image of Sanjay Manjrekar© BCCI

The Indian cricket team began their 2023 ODI World Cup preparations in style, securing a clean sweep against New Zealand in the 3-match series. The likes of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma were the star performers with the bat while spinner Kuldeep Yadav also impressed many. In terms of the pace bowling department, it was Mohammed Siraj who arguably outshone the rest. However, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar was left surprised to see Siraj hardly being talked about in the post-match presentation after the conclusion of the 3rd ODI.

In a chat on Star Sports, Manjrekar held special praise for Siraj, lauding him for consistently delivering the goods for India.

“In the post-match, he was hardly mentioned. Hardly talked about. But yes, when I have to look at 1 player who is promising a lot. One player whose growth has been phenomenal. I’ve used this term many times. He at the moment looks like a complete seam bowler. And that says a lot about any performer and not just this format. In T20Is and Test matches as well,” Manjrekar said after the conclusion of the presentation ceremony.

Siraj finished the series with 5 wickets to his name at a brilliant average of 11.20. While the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Shardul Thakur got more wickets than him (6 each), Siraj only featured in 2 matches for the team in the 3-ODI series.

“Shubman Gill got a double hundred and a hundred. But when you look at the quality and against the toughest opposition in the world – big pressure match. Mohammed Siraj is somebody that India have found, who will be there when India need him,” Manjrekar added.

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Siraj was rested from the third and final ODI of the series, in what seemed to be a measure to keep him fresh for the upcoming 4-match Test series against Australia.

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