Raipur (Chattisgarh) [India], January 20 (ANI): India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey stated that pacer Mohammed Siraj is an integral part of the team not only for the World Cup but also beyond that, indicating that the speedster was firmly in the plans for the showpiece event.
Addressing a media briefing on the eve of the second match of the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand in Raipur, Mhambrey further stated that the Hyderabad lad has worked on his seam position to sharpen his outswingers, which has proven to be a wicket-taking option for him.
"Siraj's performance has been extremely pleasing to watch. He has worked on his seam positions which enable him to move the ball away as well. I am very happy with the way he has progressed. He has transformed his red ball skills into white ball cricket. We definitely expect a lot from him. He is not just important for the upcoming ODI World Cup but also beyond that event," the bowling coach said.
On the continued absence of India's pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah affecting the bowling department, he said, "Let's face the fact that a bowler like Bumrah is unique in the world and irreplaceable. It is very difficult to replicate his skills, performance, and success in cricket. It presents other players with the opportunity to step up. It enables us to see what they bring to the table. They will be tested in different conditions. We keep having conversations with them to improve. It's an ongoing process."The coach shed light on the team's preferred bowling combination and defended the bowlers for their performance in the first ODI where New Zealand ran India close.
"One reason why he [Shardul Tahkur] played is that he adds batting depth. We will look at the pitch and decide on our combination accordingly. Shardul does provide the extra batting option. However, we will take a call only after looking a the wicket. When you play against a good side in international cricket, such games are bound to happen where we will be challenged. But I do not agree that we have not been defending well. There will be games where teams will score well depending on the surface and the conditions. We learned our lessons from the 1st ODI and will implement the changes going forward. We have our bases covered. We have different players to play different roles and fit into combinations. The hospitality has been excellent here. We are looking forward to playing here tomorrow," said Mhambrey.
Sharing his view on whether the World Cup matches should start early to negate the dew factor, he said the dew does affect the game as it helps the team batting second.
"Dew will play a part, considering the time and weather we will play in. It might favour the team batting second," the blowing coach added.
India will take on New Zealand on Saturday at Raipur, which will host its first-ever ODI. (ANI)