It has been a fairy tale series for Mohammed Siraj. From debuting at the MCG to leading the Indian pace attack at the Gabba, Siraj has proved his might with the ball in hand. To top off this memorable tour, the Hyderabad quick scalped five wickets to become India’s leading wicket-taker in the series. And Siraj’s maiden five-wicket haul couldn’t have come at a better time.
The rookie speedster asserts that the experience of playing extensively in the domestic circuit came in handy in Brisbane. Siraj adds that he missed India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah. And hence rose to the occasion to give his side a chance at winning the game and script history at fortress Gabba.
“No, not like a senior bowler but the games I played for India and the domestic cricket experience helped me gain some confidence for the matches,” Siraj told the media during the virtual press conference.
“I missed Jassi bhai (Jasprit Bumrah) and in his absence, I had to step up on the occasion. My aim was to build pressure on Australia batsmen,” he added.
My focus was to fulfil my dad’s wish
The tour was not all sunshine for Siraj as he lost his father early on in the series. But he stuck with the side in a bid to fulfil his father’s dream. And he has done so with some distinction. Siraj shares that a phone call with his mother boosted his confidence after the tragedy. And made him strong mentally as the series moved forward. The Hyderabad pacer is glad to have finally achieved what his father dreamed for him.
“I am thankful that I was able to pick five wickets as it was a very tough situation for me after my dad passed away. But after talking to my mom at home, I gained some confidence. The call with my mom made me mentally strong. My focus was to fulfill my dad’s wish,” said Siraj.
“I want to thank god that I got the chance to play for India as it was my dad’s wish too. If he was alive today, he would have been very happy. But I know his blessings were with me and I am speechless after my performance,” said Siraj.
Thanks to Siraj’s fifer and Shardul Thakur‘s four-wicket haul, India will be chasing a total of 328 to win the final Test. If the tourists manage to pull off the chase, they will be the first team to conquer fortress Gabba in this century.