With India's lead pacer Mohammed Shami ruled out of the ongoing Test series against with a fracture on his right forearm, the search for a replacement has begun. The two front-runners for the role are Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj, both yet to play their first Test for India.
Having said that, we statistically compare the two bowlers in terms of their first-class performances:
Navdeep Saini v Mohammed Siraj - First Class Numbers
Navdeep Saini has played 79 first-class innings as compared to Mohammed Siraj's 67. Even though he has played 12 fewer innings than Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj has 152 wickets to his name as opposed to only 128 by Saini.
Siraj boasts of a brilliant bowling-average of 23.44, while Navdeep Saini averages 28.46 in first-class cricket. Both strike bowlers have 4 five-wicket hauls to their name. Saini's best bowling figures stand at 6-32 while Siraj's top figures are 8-59.
Navdeep Saini or Mohammed Siraj - Who holds the edge?
With Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav likely to continue as India's top picks going into the Boxing Day Test, the team would be looking for one seamer to replace the injured Mohammed Shami.
From the two options in the squad, Mohammed Siraj is slightly ahead of Navdeep Saini in the pecking order, courtesy his impressive performances during the recently-concluded practice matches against Australia-A. Siraj played both practice games and ended up with 5 wickets. Navdeep Saini, on the other hand, could only pick 3 wickets.
Low on confidence and without two of their biggest stars - Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami - Team India take on Australia in the 2nd Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the MCG. Rohit Sharma has landed in Australia, but is still in quarantine and would be available only for the final two Tests.
India, under stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, are expected to make a number of changes - some enforced and others due to lack of form. The two cricketing giants lock horns for their 2nd Test face-off of the series on 26th December 2020.