The meteoric rise of Mohammed Siraj has been among the most phenomenal stories in the Indian cricket scene over the past year. Mostly an anonymous bowler who often used to get criticized for the way he leaked runs, Siraj has evolved in leaps and bounds and has become a crucial asset for India’s pace department in the longest format of the sport.
The youngest in the lethal quartet comprising Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ishant Sharma, Siraj was the catalyst on the final day of the Lord’s Test and helped India win the match with a five-for. The 27-year-old has struck 11 times in the first two Tests in England and there seems to be no stopping him.
Mohammed Siraj made his debut for Team India in Australia on the back of a successful IPL season in UAE and with injuries to several key players. He was impressive on first sight and even registered a five-wicket-haul in the historic conquest of The Gabba. His skipper Virat Kohli says that his confidence has reached new heights following that tour.
“I was not surprised at all (with his growth) because I have seen him from close quarters. He is a guy who has always had the skill. You need the confidence to back that skill, the Australia series provided him with that boost and confidence,” Kohli said at a virtual media interaction.
“He is walking around knowing he can get anyone out at any stage and the belief in his game has been elevated to another level, hence you see results of what he is doing,” the skipper added.
The Indian team captain also mentioned that Siraj’s confidence makes him flamboyant.
“I am really happy to see him coming into his own, he is going to be this kind of bowler, who is in your face and who is looking to get guys out and who is not scared, he is not going to take a backward step.”
Kohli also went on to praise the opening batsmen Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul who have given India great starts so far in the series. While Rohit missed a century by just 17 runs in the first innings at Lord’s, Rahul saw his name getting etched on the Lord’s honours board with a score of 129 in the first innings. He had also scored 110 runs in the Nottingham Test.
“The opening combination, when you are playing overseas, is one of the most important factors. So, the way KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have played, has been outstanding and we hope that they continue in the same manner.
“To set out the right platform from where the team can build on and that is what they provided us in both the Tests so that is definitely a big boost for us,” said a pleased Virat Kohli.