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Mohammad Siraj’s rags-to-riches story becomes bigger with Indian cricket team selection

Mohammad Siraj, the son of an auto-rickshaw driver who was swooped up for Rs 2.5 crore by Sunrisers Hyderabad, has been selected in the Indian Twenty20 squad for the upcoming series against New Zealand.

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Oct 23, 2017 15:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
India vs New Zealand,Indian cricket team,New Zealand cricket team
Mohammad Siraj was snapped up by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League and his haul of four wickets in the game against Gujarat Lions helped the team enter the knock-out stage.(BCCI)

Even until a few months back, Mohammed Siraj wasn’t quite a familiar name, even in the cricketing circles. He had made his first-class debut in 2015 and had quite a few good spells to his name as well but even then, it wasn’t quite enough to grab the selectors’ attention. After grinding through the domestic circuit for quite some time, that eventually came during the 2017 Indian Premier League season.

Siraj’s is a typical rags-to-riches to story. Born to an auto-rickshaw driver in Hyderabad, Siraj was swooped up for a mammoth ₹2.6 crore by Sunrisers Hyderabad despite having a base price of just ₹20 lakh. And as luck would have it, an injury to Ashish Nehra meant there was that glimmer of hope that every youngster craves for.

He didn’t disappoint and ended the season with 10 wickets from the six matches in which he featured in, including a four-for in the last league match against Gujarat Lions in Kanpur that helped his side qualify for the play-offs.

It was a justified call for the franchise to go after the seamer though for that astronomical amount of money. Last season, Siraj was the second-highest wicket taker among pacers in the Ranji trophy and was third on the overall list behind Shahbaz Nadeem and Anupam Sanklecha.

Anyone acquainted with the help Indian pitches provide to fast bowlers would vouch that it wasn’t a mean achievement. He picked up 41 wickets in nine matches at an average of 18.92 besides maintaining an impressive strike rate of around 36.

Siraj was part of the India A side as well that played four matches against New Zealand A. Although he didn’t play all the matches, Siraj picked four wickets in three games. He featured for India Green in the Duleep Trophy this season but played in only one game as his side lost to India Red.

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 15:36 IST