When India bowler Mohammed Siraj put on his cap for his debut Test at Melbourne on an incredibly successful battle Down Under when India recorded an unforgettable 2-1 series win, all he could think about it was his father, who had recently died a few days earlier, and how his ‘dad should’ve been here.’
Siraj made an impression on his debut, taking 3/37 in the second innings to assist India to defeat Australia by eight wickets.
Mohammed Siraj would record unforgettable figures, taking 13 wickets in the series, five of which came in the final Test at the iconic Gaba Stadium, when India breached Australia’s unbreachable fort. Siraj will indeed finish up the series as the third-highest wicket-taker from 3 matches, trailing only Pat Cummins and fellow RCB pacer Josh Hazlewood.
That series, was a turning point in Siraj’s career because he lost his father just before the series began. Alongside his family problems, he was also dealing with racial prejudice and the strict Covid-19 protocols in place, the report on the RCB website.
‘I got to know about his condition when I landed in Australia’: Mohammed Siraj
After the series, Siraj decided to open up about one of the most difficult yet unforgettable moments of life, according to his IPL franchise Royal Challengers.
“It was extremely difficult for me. My father was also sick during the IPL. But no one in my family had informed me that the situation was serious. “When I arrived in Australia, I learned about his condition,” Siraj was quoted saying by RCB in an article on their official website.
According to the RCB, Siraj would indeed put a spotlight on pandemic protocols. “There was also the Covid-19 protocol. We had to quarantine. I found out about Dad’s death during our practice session. During that time, my mother helped me to be strong. ‘Fulfill your father’s vision and make your country proud,’ she advised. This was my only source of motivation. I didn’t realize if I’d be able to play. The team included senior bowlers.”
He did, however, get his opportunity, and the rest, as they say, is history. But on that day, Siraj’s only thought was of his father, whose funeral he couldn’t join due to the restrictive Covid-19 pandemic guidelines in place at the time.
“I got the opportunity in the second Test… When I wore my cap in Melbourne, I thought to myself, “Dad should have been here.” After Mohammed Shami was injured, I was allowed to play for India.”
India led the Test series in England 2-1 with only the fifth and final match remaining when they were forced to withdraw due to a Covid outbreak in the squad.