Mohammed Siraj, who is primed to be in the starting XI of the World Test Championship final, revealed that he gained immense confidence from the Australia tour, and asserted that he hopes to carry it into the England tour. Siraj further stated that he owes his entire career to Virat Kohli.
Bowling to the Aussies at the mighty MCG can be a daunting task in itself, but Mohammed Siraj faced a far greater challenge - that of making his debut at MCG with his team 0-1 down in the series. Fans tempered down the expectations but what Siraj achieved stunned the world as the speedster, aside from just impressing, led the bowling attack from the front in the historic series which saw the visitors triumph 2-1. Siraj, in the three Tests he played in Australia, picked 13 wickets at an average of 28.25 and he has since not looked back, transforming himself into a vital cog in India’s already-formidable pace attack.
Last week, the 27-year-old was named in the squad for the World Test Championship and the England tour, and speaking to TOI, the right-armer stated that he hopes to carry the confidence he garnered in Australia into the WTC Final and the England Tests.
"Since I made my debut, I always gave my 100 percent for my team. All I win is a victory at the end of the day. The win gives me a special feeling. The Australia tour gave me a lot of confidence and I am going to carry that same confidence to England as well," Siraj told TOI.
The confidence Siraj garnered in Australia, in fact, even reflected in IPL 2021 as in the T20 extravaganza the 27-year-old endured his best season to date, picking 6 wickets at an ER of 7.34, even thriving at the death. Siraj revealed that Virat Kohli played a huge part in his rise and added that the skipper’s words motivates him to do better.
“Virat bhaiya always says - 'tere paas ability hai, tu kar sakta hai, tere paas ability hai kisi bhi wicket pe khelne ka, tu kisi bhi batsman ko out kar sakta hai' (You have the ability, the ability play on any wicket and get rid of any batsman).
"Recently, after our match vs CSK, Virat bhaiya came and said 'Miaan.. tumhare mein jo changes aaye hain.. those are amazing' (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. Keep up the good work. These words from one of the best captains in the world motivate me a lot.”
Siraj, in fact, went as far as saying that he owes his entire career to Kohli. The speedster, while in Australia, lost his father, and the 27-year-old revealed that it was Kohli’s words of encouragement that helped him keep his sanity intact during testing times.
“I had lost my father during the Australia series. I was shattered and not really in my senses. It was Virat bhaiya who gave me strength and support. Mera career Virat bhaiya ke wajah se hai (I owe my career to Virat)," Siraj said.