Indian pace bowler Mohammed Siraj credited bowling coach Bharat Arun for his transformation as a player. Siraj made his T20I debut in 2017, but played only three matches in the shortest format and had to wait for his time with consistent performances in List A tours and the IPL to make his way in the Indian Test side.
His debut in Melbourne could happen because of Mohammed Shami’s finger injury at Adelaide and it wasn’t easy for the Hyderabad bowler to come in the series and perform as he had just recovered from the shocking news of his father’s demise.
Mohammed Siraj’s rise in Test cricket as a bowler
However, that didn’t stop the bowler to reach the big heights as he went on to lead India’s bowling attack, playing only in his third Test match, after all the frontline bowlers were seen on the bench suffering from different injuries.
Siraj registered his maiden five-wicket haul against Australia in the second innings in the Brisbane Test. His 5/73 included the key wickets of Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne to restrict Australia’s lead to 328 and the rest was the history as they said.
Siraj has continued his bowling prowess in England where he helped India to bowl out England for 120 in the second innings of the Lord’s Test. He got the breakthrough by getting back to back wickets of Moeen Ali and Sam Curran as India won a Test match at the venue after seven years.
Before making his international presence count, Siraj was an amateur bowler who used to play with his state team Hyderabad and it was Bharat Arun, who was Hyderbad’s head coach in 2016-17, who spotted the bowler in the nets for Sunrisers Hyderabad and later he groomed Siraj’s raw talent into a destructive bowler.
Bharat Arun sir came into my life and things changed so much: Mohammed Siraj
Siraj called Arun as his guardian angel and also mentioned the confidence the bowling coach showed in him.
“Bharat Arun sir came into my life and things changed so much. He used to give me so much confidence that there is no limit to that He used to back me a lot. He is a guardian angel to me,” Siraj had said in a video uploaded by RCB on their social media platforms during IPL 2020.
“He used to tell me to not get tensed and that I would play for India, just keep working hard and don’t let your guard down,” he added.
Siraj has picked 13 wickets from three matches in the ongoing Test series against England so far.