India’s newest bowling sensation Mohammed Siraj has revealed how tips given by his senior Jasprit Bumrah helped him focus on his bowling in his debut Test at the MCG. Siraj, who picked up five wickets at the MCG, had played a key role in India’s stunning eight-wicket victory against Australia to square the series 1-1.
Siraj said, “Having a senior like him around gives plenty of confidence to juniors like us. He kept asking me to focus on every ball. He told me to not bowl a single easy ball. He said that I was doing well and asked me to be patient. It felt good to talk to him.”
Siraj took two wickets in the first innings before scalping three more in the second innings. He was included in the team as a replacement for Mohammed Shami, who sustained injuries during the first Test in Adelaide.
Siraj said, “I had worked hard on my red-ball cricket in the beginning. I worked really hard both on my fitness and bowling during the lockdown. I was also able to perform well with the white ball during the IPL. Now when I got an opportunity to play for India in the Test match, I am very happy with my performance. I hope to perform well even in the future in-Sha Allah.”
Commenting on Siraj’s performance in his debut Test, Team India’s stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane had said, “Siraj bowled with a lot of discipline. Sometimes as debutants, you can get carried away. Guys who play first-class cricket for four-five years know what to do, it makes a captain’s job easier.”
Siraj lost his father, Mohammed Ghouse, while he was with Team India in Australia. The young bowler was unable to attend his father’s funeral due to his commitment with the national team. He was dedicating his impressive performance to his Dad by pointing towards the sky. His teammates too had joined him in replicating the same gesture.