Mohammed Siraj on Saturday made a dream Test debut as he claimed two wickets by conceding just 40 runs. One of his two victims was Australia’s top-scorer Marnus Labuschagne. What made his first-ever Test wicket even more special was that another debutant, Shubman Gill, was involved in pulling off a brilliant catch to dismiss Labuschagne. As expected, Siraj pointed towards the sky to dedicate his first Test wicket to his Dad, who passed away while the young bowler was in Australia. Siraj was not able to attend the funeral of his father, who despite being an auto-rickshaw driver, had tirelessly worked to see his son represent India in the future.
Siraj’s celebrations left cricket fans teary-eyed as they took to social media to pay their tribute to Siraj’s Dad, Mohammed Ghaus. One fan, Sunil Nadipalli, wrote, “I wish #Siraj’s dad could’ve been alive today to see his son debuting for @BCCI in the purest format of the game. Such is life! Nevertheless, he made everyone around him proud and hope his father is having a wide grin in the heaven.”
Fan Murali Reddy tweeted, “Son of an auto driver . Has a good first class record . Got trolled in IPL . His father passed away while he was representing his country . Picked his first wicket at MCG on boxing day test match of an inform batsman . Inspiring journey of Siraj.”
Twitter user N Jagannath TT wrote, “The fairytale and inspirtional story of Mohd Siraj. The son of autorickshaw driver will make his Test debut in MCG tomorrow.” Fan Syed Tausif wrote, “THE FEELING OF CLAIMING YOUR MAIDEN TEST WICKET FOR COUNTRYSmiling face with heart-shaped eyes YOUR FATHER WILL SURELY BE PROUD SIRAJ BHAI..Red heart REALLY HAPPY FOR YOU BROTHER.”
Speaking to news agency PTI, Siraj’s brother, Mohammed Ismail, “It was my (late) father’s dream that Siraj should represent India in Tests … he always wanted to see him (Siraj) in blue and white jersey to represent the nation, so our dream got fulfilled today.”
India restricted Australia to 195 all out on the first day of the second Test before ending the day at 36-1. India had lost the opening Test match of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy by eight wickets when they scored just 36, their lowest-ever total in the longer format of the game.