‘Mohammed Siraj is a champion bowler but he needs…’: Harbhajan Singh on pacer’s poor form | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Harbhajan Singh, the former Indian off-spinner, has expressed concerns regarding the performance of Royal Challengers Bengaluru‘s fast-bowler, Mohammed Siraj, in the IPL 2024.
Harbhajan believes that Siraj may benefit from both mental and physical rest following another disappointing performance, particularly highlighted by a difficult outing against the Mumbai Indians.Considering Siraj’s previous successes, it’s evident that he possesses the skills and potential to excel in the IPL. However, cricket can be mentally and physically demanding, and it’s possible that Siraj may need some time off to recuperate and rediscover his form.
It’s essential for the RCB management to assess Siraj’s situation carefully and provide him with the necessary support and guidance to help him regain his confidence and performance levels.
In the current season, Siraj has managed to secure only four wickets in six matches, significantly below his performance standard. His average and economy rate have also suffered, standing at 57.25 and 10.40 respectively. This is a stark contrast to his impressive showing in the IPL 2023, where he secured 10 wickets with an economy rate of 5.9 in the Powerplay overs.
But in IPL 2024, he has an economy rate of 12.3 in Power-play and has conceded 10 sixes in this phase of the game for RCB. “He should be given rest for a couple of reasons. He should think about what has been happening in the team. He is the same Siraj that we have seen taking wickets with the new ball whether it’s in Test cricket, one-day cricket or even this format in T20.”
“He has been a champion bowler for Team India, and even for RCB, he has done well. But I feel he’s not doing what he is required to do, he requires rest, not only mentally but physically as well because he has been playing a lot of cricket. He’s played four Tests against England, before that whatever series India was playing, he has already been a part of the team. And he bowls a lot of overs. So, for me, he looks a bit tired physically and mentally.”
“And with this kind of hammering, it’s difficult for any bowler to wake up the next day and feel alright. I also went through these situations where I got hammered by different batters, you have to give yourself a bit of time to relax, think about your game and work hard in the nets, work on your game and come back stronger like we have seen Siraj and I’m sure he’ll come back stronger,” said Harbhajan on ‘Cricket Live’ show on Star Sports.
At the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday night, RCB set a target of 196/8. However, their bowling performance took a hit as they conceded 72 runs without taking any wickets during the Power-play overs, allowing Mumbai Indians (MI) to chase down the target in just 15.3 overs.
Disappointingly, all RCB bowlers struggled to contain the opposition, with each of them returning with an economy rate above 10. Even their most economical bowler, pacer Vijaykumar Vyshak, could only manage figures of 1-32 in three overs, resulting in an economy rate of 10.7.

RCB batters need to step up: Brian Lara

Brian Lara, the former head coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad, has weighed in on the RCB’s performance, suggesting that their batters need to step up and make 20-30% more runs than usual.
This adjustment in batting output is deemed necessary due to RCB’s bowling lineup struggling to contain opposition batting units, resulting in conceding significant runs.
“They’ve got to understand that with the bowling attack that they’ve got, they have to try and hit 20 or 30% more runs because it’s just not enough. So they need to break their innings together and say we need to get so much in the Power-play, middle overs and the death, but nobody is getting into batting form, nobody is getting into bowling form as well, and it’s a team that is just not in the top 6 or 7 in this tournament.”
“They have to improve so much, to really be a factor, to sort of challenge the teams. Just like KKR have got a good bowling attack. So, it’s good to see the batters getting runs but they need an injection of good bowlers and positive thinking in that squad.”
“They’ve not been able to get it right at all, they are not bad bowlers. You look at Topley, you look at Siraj, they are international bowlers and I believe that something is wrong, they are not getting their gameplan properly, they are not bowling in areas that the batters are weak in.”
“I think they are just running in and bowling sort of into the pitch or up to the bat, not thinking of the weakness of the players. When bowling to Ishan Kishan you’ve got to get the ball to nip back into him and not give him any room. It’s just so free for all,” he concluded.
(With IANS inputs)


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