Gautam Gambhir Makes A Bold Statement On Virat Kohli’s ‘Man of the Series’ Award
Former Indian cricketer and world cup hero Gautam Gambhir has made a bold remark after the Indian batting maestro won the Player of the Series award for his sensational performance against Sri Lanka. Gambhir feels Mohammed Siraj should have been jointly awarded Player of the Series along with the former Indian captain Virat Kohli for the just-concluded 3-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Virat Kohli stole the show with his bat as he broke his own six-hitting record in the 3rd and final ODI match of the series against the Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lanka National Cricket Team on Sunday, January 15, at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. Kohli played another blistering knock and scored a sensational century in the game.
Kohli remained unbeaten on 166 off 110 balls with the help of 13 fours and 8 sixes as India posted a mammoth 390/5 in their allotted 20 overs. This was also Kohli's highest-ever score batting first in ODIs and also his fifth score of 150+ in ODIs.
All thanks to Kohli's big contribution, the Indian cricket team set a massive 391-run target for Dasun Shanaka and Co. in the final ODI in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.
Mohammed Siraj made everyone's heads turn with his sensational performance as he registered figures of 4/32 in 10 overs as the Lankan Lions capitulated for 73 to be handed a 317-run defeat.
Meanwhile, during a discussion on Star Sports, Gambhir was asked about his thoughts on Mohammed Siraj's performances in the series. Responding to which, Gambhir said that Siraj was on par with Virat Kohli. He said:
"For me, I think he was on par with Virat Kohli. There should have been a joint Man of the Series because he was exceptional and these were beautiful batting wickets. I know we are always tempted towards batters getting big hundreds but I think Mohammed Siraj was absolutely exceptional too in this entire series."
Further, Gambhir also pointed out that the Hyderabad bowler might have failed to pick up a five-wicket haul on Sunday but was potent with the new ball throughout the series. He said:
"I think the hallmark is, he will get many more five-fors, it's not about that he didn't get it today but how good was he, especially with the new ball. In every game, he was able to set the tone."
Gambhir hailed Siraj as a "player of the future. He said: "I think he is the player for the future. He is someone who India has got to look forward to for a very, very long time, someone who can bowl with the new ball and at the death as well. He is getting better after every series. So a massive, massive positive."
He added: "Look what he did today. 10-over spell, he just took a break for one over. How many fast bowlers can do that? The 10th over he was bowling to Rajitha, he was bowling with as much pace as he started his spell with."
Gambhir concluded by saying that a bowler like Siraj is a dream for any captain.
Overall in the series, Siraj bagged 9 wickets at an average of 10.22, an economy of 4.05, and a strike rate of 15.1 as he finished as the leading wicket-taker in the recently-concluded 3-match ODI series. Siraj provided early breakthroughs throughout the series against Sri Lanka. In the first ODI, he picked up two wickets with the new ball. In the second, he took one, and in the third, he picked up four wickets and played a big role crucial role in helping the Indian cricket team register a 3-0 whitewash over the visitors.