'When we came back from practice, got to know my father passed away': RCB pacer Mohammed Siraj recounts tough time
- Ahead of IPL 2021, where Mohammed Siraj will turn up for the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore, the right-arm seamer remembered the the time when his father passed away.
Mohammed Siraj lost his father days before his realising his ultimate dream – to play Test cricket for India. The worst part? Siraj couldn’t even be present for his father’s last rites as he was in quarantine in Australia, counting days for his Test debut.
Ahead of IPL 2021, where Siraj will turn up for the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore, the right-arm seamer remembered the difficult period when none of his teammates could even come to his room to offer condolences because of strict quarantine guidelines in place.
"During Australia tour, I was in quarantine and when we came back from practice, I got to know my father passed away. Unfortunately, no one could come to my room," Siraj in a video uploaded on Twitter by RCB on Thursday.
"I called home and my fiance, mother were very supportive and they told me that I need to fulfill my father's dream of seeing me play for India."
Siraj fulfilled his father’s dream. He made his Test debut on December 26 in the second Test against Australia. He also picked up five wickets in that match and helped India win it.
Siraj ended the Australia tour on a high by picking his maiden five-for in Test cricket in the final Test in Gabba, which India won to take the series 2-1.
Siraj said he wants to play all the three formats and credited his success to fellow pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma.
"Jasprit Bumrah used to stand beside me whenever I was bowling. He told me to stick to the basics and not do something extra. It's nice to learn from such an experienced player," Siraj said.
"I even played with Ishant Sharma, he has played 100 Tests. It felt good to share the dressing room with him. My dream is to be the highest wicket-taker for India and I will work hard whenever I get an opportunity." A key pacer for RCB, Siraj, who has captured 39 wickets in 35 IPL matches, said he was low on confidence when he first joined the squad but a good performance against KKR lifted his spirits.
"Last year, when I joined RCB, I was low on confidence. But when I started bowling with the new ball, I was also bowling on a single wicket, which helped me a lot," he said.
"And then the performance against KKR gave me a lot of confidence. The team culture here is so nice that everyone used to get together and discuss stuff like Virat does." Siraj said he will look to continue his aggressive bowling after getting a good feedback from RCB's batting consultant Sanjay Bangar.
"I was talking to Sanjay sir. He told me that my rhythm is good. I am meeting you after so long but you are putting in the same effort that you used to put for the Indian team. Your rhythm, aggression and confidence ... it is all looking nice, so continue that."
(With PTI inputs)