Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj had a fairytale tour of Australia where he emerged as India’s leading wicket-taker.
Making his debut during the Boxing Day Test following an injury to Mohammed Shami, Siraj gave an instant account of himself with his accuracy, temperament, and of course plethora of skills.
Mohammed Siraj claimed a total of 13 wickets across three Test matches and his five-wicket-haul during the 2nd innings of the Brisbane Test was one of the major reasons behind India restricting Australia to a manageable total.
It was an emotional tour for Mohammed Siraj as he had lost his father before the start of the series. But the young Hyderabad pacer chose to stay back with the team instead of returning back to attend his father’s last rites.
Every time Siraj took a wicket he used to look towards the sky as a tribute to his father.
Mohammed Siraj has now become an integral part of the Indian Test team and he is likely to play a crucial role in the upcoming six Test matches in the United Kingdom.
Ahead of the team’s departure to England, the 27-year-old revealed what head coach Ravi Shastri had told him after he lost his father back in November.
While Siraj once again thanked skipper Virat Kohli for his unrelenting support over the years, he expressed his gratitude towards Ravi Shastri for encouraging him with motivational words when he was at the lowest point in his life.
‘’Virat Bhai is always there. When I couldn’t perform well in the IPL two years back, he showed faith in my ability. He retained me in RCB and I am grateful for this,” Mohammed Siraj told ABP news.
According to Mohammed Siraj, Shastri had told him after his father’s death that he will play the Test matches and will end up taking a five-wicket-haul because his father’s good wishes are with him. And, that is exactly what happened during the Brisbane Test.
”When I lost my father during the Australia tour, both Ravi sir and bowling coach Bharat Arun sir were so supportive. Ravi sir came to me and told, tu test match khel, dekh tereko 5 wickets milega. Tere Daddy ka dua tera saath hoga (You play the test match. You will get 5 wickets as your father’s blessings will be with you). Match ke baad Ravi sir ne bahut khus hokar bola, tujhe bola tha na 5 mileages milega (I told that you will be getting five wickets). I became very confident after my coaches encouraged me in such a way,” Siraj added.