Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj remembered his late father on the day he claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in his Test career. The talented fast bowler led the attack brilliantly in the absence of the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Umesh Yadav, and his relentless efforts were finally rewarded as he recorded figures of 5/73 in Australia’s second innings, one that helped India skittle the hosts for 294.
It was an emotional moment for Siraj as he immediately looked at the heavens as if saying to his deceased father–‘this one is for you dad. I hope I have made you proud today’.
It was Mohammed Siraj’s father’s dream to see his son represent the country at the highest level. And so, when he, unfortunately, passed away on November 20, the fast bowler decided against going back home to perform the last rites and instead chose to fulfill his father’s dream.
The dream was eventually realized when he made his debut in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, and on Monday, he further stamped his presence on the global stage as he emerged as the leader of the inexperienced pace-attack with a five-wicket haul. Needless to say that Siraj remembered his deceased father on what turned out to be a special day for him and his family. He wished he was here watching his son showcase his skills in front of the whole world.
“My dad had wished that his son would play and the entire world would watch him. I hope he could have been there to watch this day. This is because of his blessings that I have got a five-wicket haul in Tests. I am speechless and can’t express my feelings in words,” said Mohammed Siraj.
“It was a tough situation, dad’s demise. I got strength after talking to mom and my focus was to realise dad’s dream,” he added.
Siraj was also asked about the pressure of leading the pace attack in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Ishant Sharma.
He said that he does not consider himself as a senior bowler but added that his experience of playing in domestic cricket as well as for India A came in handy. He also explained how he goes about his business in setting up a batsman.
“I don’t consider myself as a senior bowler but since I have played a lot domestic and India A, it helped. I missed Jassi bhai (Jasprit Bumrah). So I had to take more responsibility and build pressure and don’t try too many things,” said Mohammed Siraj.
“You set up the batsman by first bowling a series of inswings followed by an outswing, after that 1-2 over bowled on the same channel and then change the line. The idea is to keep on building pressure,” he added.