Mohammed Siraj was asked not to play tennis ball matches when he was selected for Hyderabad’s junior teams, reveals his former bowling coach and former chairman of the Hyderabad selection committee, P Jyothi Prasad.
In the past few months, Mohammed Siraj has established himself not only as of the future of India’s fast bowling but has also replaced the likes of Umesh Yadav in the pecking order. However, his career could have gone downhill had he was not saved by Prasad from exposure to the bad habits of chucking early on.
Prasad, who picked 102 first-class wickets for Hyderabad, reveals that he stopped Mohammed Siraj from playing in the local tennis ball tournaments because the matches moreover served as a purpose for illegal betting and hence bowlers used to chuck in order to bowl faster.
“Siraj was playing a lot of local matches, which were all betting matches that they played in the old city. When he got selected for the state youth side (under-23), I told him to stop those tennis ball matches. The reason being that I have seen a lot of bowlers bowling there chucking in their attempt to bowl faster. I did not want Siraj to develop the bad habits of chucking,” Prasad told Sportskeeda.
After a long time, I was seeing a bowler in Hyderabad bowling so fast: P Jyothi Prasad
The 27-year-0ld pacer showed immense maturity and took the responsibility of becoming the leader of the bowling attack having played just two Tests in Brisbane against Australia. He bagged his maiden five-for helping India script a historic triumph. Mohammed Siraj has 16 wickets in 5 Tests and will look to his next challenge in India colours which will be the 5-match Test series in England post the IPL.
Prasad says that during his tenure as the chairman of the Hyderabad selection committee he had noticed the young pacer in a local game and was left in awe of Siraj’s bowling realizing that he was special.
“When I was the chairman of the Hyderabad selection committee, I used to watch local matches a lot. Siraj was playing for Charminar CC against Railways in a local match and took a lot of wickets. I saw him bowl quick. It was after a long time that I was seeing a bowler in Hyderabad bowling so fast. I thought this boy had some stuff,” the 68-year-old Prasad added.