Indian right-arm paceman Mohammed Siraj enjoyed a Test debut to remember as he got his maiden Test cap from Ravichandran Ashwin. Mohammed Siraj, who replaced Mohammed Shami for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, did a commendable job on the first day as India bowled out Australia for 195. The 26-year old credited Ajinkya Rahane for instilling confidence in him.
Mohammed Siraj, who has recently suffered a personal tragedy, struggled initially as he bowled for the first time after lunch. However, the right-arm seamer was on point in his second spell as he took two wickets in 15 overs, conceding 40 runs, earning four maidens. Siraj removed Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green, supporting Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin in a bid to level the series.
Mohammed Siraj felt grateful to make his Test debut and Ajinkya Rahane, who filled in for Virat Kohli as captain, asked him do the things he does in domestic cricket and for India A. The 32-year old asked Siraj not to overthink anything.
“Firstly, I am very happy that I got to make my debut. And I had spoken to Rahane and he told me to do whatever I have been doing for India A and domestic cricket. He asked me not to think too much that I was playing for India and bowl my normal stuff,” Siraj told Sony Sports Network in the post-match interview.
He was also motiviating me if one or two balls went bad: Mohammed Siraj
The Hyderabad-born seamer heaped praises on Ajinkya Rahane, who gave him plenty of freedom as a captain. The stand-in captain was not unfazed about a few deliveries going awry; thus, he gained confidence.
“I enjoyed a lot bowling with Rahane as the captain. Because he gave me the freedom to bowl the way I wanted and set my own field. He was also motiviating me if one or two balls went bad. So, I was getting the confidence with him,” he added.