'Terrific' Siraj impresses India 'A', coach Rahul Dravid
"In the last three four-day games â in England and here â Siraj has been terrific. To get 25 wickets in the last three games is terrific. It's his maturity that stands out. He is someone who has played very few first-class matches"
A man not known to heap praise or flattery, Rahul Dravid sported a gleeful smile while answering a question on the development of the India 'A' side, which he has been in charge from June 2015. Mayank Agarwal (220) and Prithvi Shaw (136), who played stellar roles in India A's innings and 30-run win over South Africa 'A' here, and Yuzvendra Chahal earned a pat from Dravid. But it was the development of pacer Mohammed Siraj (5-56 & 5-73) that pleased Dravid more.
"In the last three four-day games — in England and here — he [Siraj] has been terrific. To get 25 wickets in the last three games is terrific. It's his maturity that stands out. He is someone who has played very few first-class matches. He hasn't really been part of the system as he hasn't played much junior cricket. So he is learning all the time. Even in white ball cricket I won't be too harsh on him too quickly because he hasn't played that much," the coach said.
Chahal was playing with the red ball for the first time since 2016 and Dravid said the leg-spinner was impressive. "Chahal has had a lot of success in white ball cricket. Even for us, I have been seeing him for two-and-a-half years, since he first came to South Africa, he wasn't considered a red ball player. But we wanted to give him an opportunity to showcase how he fares in red ball cricket. They [selectors and the team's think tank] were very keen to know how he [Chahal] performs in red ball cricket."
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