Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh has weighed in on the likely bowling combination India will go ahead with for the Test series against South Africa starting December. With Cricket South Africa announcing a strong 21-member squad, which includes the pace trio of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi, Harbhajan named the pacers he would like to see in India’s Playing XI for the Tests.
Harbhajan reckons the rested duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will be automatic picks, and adds there is a chance of both R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja featuring in the XI as well. Harbhajan went on to reserve massive praise for the young Mohammed Siraj. Speaking highly of the 27-year-old quick, the off-spinner tipped Siraj to become India’s top bowler in the time to come.
“Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj… what an outstanding bowler. In the time to come, he will be India’s No. 1 bowler. With him, I feel Shardul Thakur will return because in South Africa you will require a seamer who can bat as well. Along with them, we shall certainly see R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja playing and perhaps, Axar Patel could also be seen operating with them,” Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel.
Siraj has had a fabulous beginning in Test cricket. Besides leading India’s pace attack in Australia, Siraj had a wonderful series in England, picking up 14 wickets in four Tests. He replaced an injured Ishant Sharma for the 2nd Test in Mumbai against New Zealand and finished with 3/19 in the first innings, including a peach of a delivery to dismiss Ross Taylor.
Harbhajan then congratulated India for their 3-0 win against New Zealand in the T20Is and winning the Test series 1-0, while saying that the current NZ unit look nothing like the one that won the WTC final in June earlier this year. “Well done to Team India for winning the Test series against New Zealand, who looked a completely different unit than the one which turned out at the World Test Championships final,” said the India off-spinner.