The last few months have been extremely kind to Mohammed Siraj’s cricketing career. The fast bowler burst on to the scene in IPL 2020 and took everyone by surprise during the tour of Australia, where he was part of the historic Border Gavaskar Trophy winning side. Siraj then showed the immense strides he had made since last year in IPL 2021 before the season came to a quick and grinding halt.
The 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy has been a major highlight and reference point in the right arm pacer’s career and a test he passed with flying colours. Despite the loss of his father in the build-up to the premier Test event, Siraj finished the series as the highest wicket-taker for India and led the line for the pace attack after injuries to several regulars. He went on to claim 13 scalps in just three Tests which included a fifer.
Mohammed Siraj now has his eyes set on the next big spectacle – the tour of England. Siraj has been in included in the side for the World Test Championship Final which will be followed by the five-match Test series against England.
“Since I made my debut, I gave my 100 percent for my team. All I want is a victory at the end of the day. The win gives me a special feeling. The Australian tour gave me a lot of confidence and I’m going to carry that same confidence into England as well,” said Siraj while speaking to Times of India.
The 26-year-old has never been shy while mentioning the influence of Virat Kohli in his career. The captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Team India has always believed in Siraj’s talents and abilities. Kohli also backed Siraj to perform well in England given how he has improved tremendously.
“Recently, after our match vs CSK (in now-suspended IPL 2021), Virat bhaiya came and said ‘the changes you have brought about in your bowling are amazing. It will be benefiting our team. Be ready for the England tour. All the best’. These words from one of the best captains in the world motivate me a lot,” Siraj said.
Virat Kohli is also someone who has been with Mohammed Siraj through the tough times. Siraj lost his father during the series in Australia and according to Siraj, it was Kohli’s words that gave him confidence.
“I had lost my father during the Australia series. I was shattered and not really in my senses. It was Virat bhaiyya who gave me strength and support. I owe my career to Virat.
“Virat has supported me through thick and thin. He has always been there for me in all circumstances. I remember how I was crying in the hotel room. Virat bhaiyya came to my room and hugged me tightly and said ‘I am with you, don’t worry’. Those words encouraged me a lot. He played just one Test on the tour but his messages and calls motivated me,” he concluded.