New Zealand outsmarted India in the second T20 match played at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Saturday when the hosts were defeated by 40 runs.
But the match became memorable for one moment before the start of the game. Just before the match started, coach Ravi Shastri handed over the cap to Hyderabad’s Mohammed Siraj, the son of an auto-driver, who was making his India debut on Saturday.
Siraj was later seen breaking down in tears after the national anthem was played. Siraj had hit the headlines after Sunrisers Hyderabad paid him Rs 2.5 crore at the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year even though his base price was just Rs. 20 lakh. It wasn’t a bad start for the 23-year-old as he claimed 10 wickets in six matches.
Born on March 13, 1994, in Hyderabad, Siraj comes from a humble economic background with his father driving auto for the last 30 years. The right-arm speedster had said that he would buy a house in a good Hyderabad locality for his parents Mohammed Ghaus and Shabana Begum.
More recently, while with the India A team’s trip to South Africa, Siraj once again rose to the occasion and took 7 wickets against South Africa A in Pretoria. On Saturday, he claimed the wicket of Kane Williamson.
On Sunday, captain Virat Kohli showered praises on the young pacer. Soon after the toss, he said, “Siraj makes his debut in place of Ashish Nehra. He is an upcoming talent in the IPL and is an exciting prospect.”