Personal tragedy, bio-bubble fatigue, racial abuse, hostile environment, and the onus of leading the bowling attack in the absence of more established bowlers in just his 3rd Test. Mohammed Siraj is just three Tests into his career but it is fair to say that the right-handed pacer has gone through a lot more than most of the cricketers go through in their entire career. And, mind you, nothing has bogged him down.
Siraj has displayed bloody-mindedness, exemplary temperament in the face of adversity both on and off the field, and it was only fitting that he finally got a much-deserved maiden five-wicket haul in the final innings of the series on day 04 of the Gabba Test.
The 26-year-old fast bowler was at his imperious best throughout the day, even as he did not have the best of luck in his opening spell where he constantly beat the outside edge of the Australian openers’ bats.
That all changed when Mohammed Siraj returned for his second spell. He bowled a near-perfect delivery to a dangerous-looking Marnus Labuschagne: one that pitched on and around the off-stump before seaming in and straightening, forcing the batsman to edge it the slip-cordon.
One wicket brought two for Sitaj within a space of three deliveries as he strangled Matthew Wade down the leg for a duck.
But the ball of the innings came after the Lunch break when Mohammed Siraj, who had earlier dropped Steve Smith, got one to land in the crack outside the off-stump, one that kissed the latter’s gloves, giving Rohit Sharma an easy catch in the slip cordon.
Siraj (5/73) eventually ended up with a five-wicket haul as he dismissed Mitchell Starc and then Josh Hazlewood.
The right-hander immediately pointed to the heavens towards his father as he led the Indian team off the field. Fittingly, he was greeted with a hug by Jasprit Bumrah and a well-deserved standing ovation by the entire continent.
Watch the video here:
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 18, 2021