Indian pace bowler Mohammed Siraj admitted that he endured a terrible IPL season in 2018 for Royal Challengers Bangalore and it was then captain Virat Kohli’s backing that helped him to make a comeback.
Siraj had played 11 matches for RCB in 2019 and picked as many wickets at an economy rate of 8.95. The Hyderabad pacer conceded 48 runs from his four-over spell without any wicket in a match against Chennai Super Kings, he showed discipline while bowling the first four deliveries of the penultimate over of the game.
Mohammed Siraj failed to resist pressure against MS Dhoni
He came under extreme pressure after being tonked for a six by Dhoni and as a result, he bowled three wide deliveries in a row and leaked 14 runs in that over as CSK chased RCB’s insurmountable target of 205 with a couple of balls to spare.
Siraj made a stellar comeback in the IPL 2020 as he bowled a stupendous spell of 4-2-8-3 against Kolkata Knight Riders, who just managed to score 84/8 in their first innings. Siraj picked 11 wickets in each of his last two seasons for RCB and was phenomenal for the team in the slog overs.
The entire credit goes to Virat Kohli: Mohammed Siraj
Siraj was retained by RCB in IPL 2022 retention window along with star batter Kohli and Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. The 28-year-old pacer said that Kohli’s support was crucial for him to survive his lean patch and thanked the former RCB skipper for boosting his confidence.
“In 2018 I had my worst year in terms of performance for RCB. Had it been any other franchise, I would have probably been released. Any other team would have dropped me but Virat showed support and retained me. The entire credit goes to Virat bhai. Whatever I am today – the confidence in my bowling and everything – it wouldn’t have been possible without Virat,” Siraj was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“A captain like him is very important for bowlers. Virat’s energy on the field is such that if a fast bowler is seeking energy to bowl, he just needs to look at him. Even if a bowler’s energy level drops, all he needs to do is just look at Virat Kohli and the way he marshals his troops. It will come back. He is very different and unique,” he added.
RCB will play its first match of IPL 2022 against Mayank Agarwal-led Punjab Kings on March 27 at Dr D.Y Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai.