Mohammed Siraj has gone from strength to strength in the past few months after making his Test debut in Australia. He returned as India’s leading wicket-taker from the historic series triumph Down Under – he picked 13 wickets in 3 games. In the absence of all first-choice pacers, Mohammed Siraj, who was just two-Test old at that time, spearheaded the bowling attack in the epic victory at Gabba and took his maiden 5-wicket haul.
Such were Mohammed Siraj’s gains in Australia that he was selected over Umesh Yadav in the following home Test series against England.
However, while the youngster showed his talent and skill on the field, he had to deal with a tragedy off the field. While in the early days on the tour of Australia, Mohammed Siraj’s father, Mohammed Ghaus, had unfortunately passed away.
The pacer decided to stay with the side and fulfill his father’s dream of him representing India at the Test level, and also picked a 5-for.
The 27-year-old credits Virat Kohli for his support during the tough phase. He reveals how the skipper approached him in the hotel room and talked with him while he cried for the loss of his father. He says that he owes his career to Kohli for the support and faith shown in him,
“I had lost my father during the Australian series. I was shattered and not really in my senses. It was Virat bhaiya who gave me the support. Mera career Virat bhaiya ke wajeh se hai (I owe my career to Virat),” Mohammed Siraj told Time Of India.
“He supported me a lot through thick and thin. He has always been there for me in all circumstances. I still remember how I was crying in the hotel room. Virat bhaiya came into my room and hugged me tightly and said – ‘I am with you, do not worry’. Those words encouraged me a lot. He (Virat) played just one Test in that series but his advice and calls motivated me. And that is why I could perform,” he added.
I am going to carry the same confidence to England as well: Mohammed Siraj
Riding on the high of Australia, Mohammed Siraj continued to remain impressive in the England Test series. However, it was his performance in the now-suspended IPL 2021 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore as well that has taken everyone by surprise.
The success in Test cricket transformed him as a T20 bowler as well. Not only he was brilliant with the new ball, but also leveled himself up in the death overs.
The right-arm pacer says he will take this confidence on the tour to the UK as well, where India will play 6 Tests: the World Test Championship final versus New Zealand and 5-Test series against England. It would be interesting to see if Mohammed Siraj makes the cut ahead of either Ishant Sharma or Mohammed Shami or Umesh Yadav in the eleven.
“Since I made my debut, I have given 100 percent for my team. All I want is a victory at the end. The win gives me a special feeling. The Australia tour gave me a lot of confidence and I am going to carry the same confidence to England as well,” the pacer further stated.