Sydney: Fast-paced bowler Mohammed Siraj couldn’t hold back tears when India’s national anthem played ahead of the start of the third Test in Australia Thursday, and he later revealed that thoughts of his late father had overwhelmed him.
Indian Mohammed Siraj (second from right) celebrates with his teammates after taking Australian David Warner’s wicket on the first day of the third test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. AFP
The 26-year-old, who made a surprising debut in the second test victory with five wickets, made the difficult decision to stay in the Indian squad after the death of his father in November.
“At the time of the national anthem, I remembered my father,” Siraj told reporters at the end of the day, claiming that the first wicket had fallen.
“He wanted to see me play test cricket for India and today he would have been proud if he had been alive. “
The bowler, who also plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, stayed in the team’s safe bubble despite the offer to fly home.
Siraj praised his father, an auto rickshaw driver from the southern city of Hyderabad, for his dream of becoming a top cricketer.
Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer used a quote from former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni: “Even if there is little or no crowd to cheer you on, there is no better motivation than playing for India,” wrote Jaffer Twitter.
Even if there is little or no audience to cheer you on, there is no better motivation than playing for India. As a legend once said: “You don’t play for the crowd, you play for the country. “🇮🇳 #AUSvIND picture. Twitter. com / qAwIyiUrSI
Another former playtester, Mohammad Kaif, posted a picture of Siraj wiping his tears away, adding, “I just want certain people to remember this picture. He is Siraj Mohammed and that means the national anthem to him. “
I just want certain people to remember this picture. He’s #SirajMohammed and that’s what the national anthem means to him. Twitter. com / eJi9Xeww8E
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Siraj’s senior pace bowling partner Jasprit Bumrah told him the only way to get wickets on a flat deck is to build up pressure with lots of point balls.
Warner missed the first two Tests with a groin injury but will almost certainly return to the crucial clash in Sydney on Thursday. The series with four tests was blocked with 1: 1.
The right-handed man has also come through centuries in his last two returnees, having spent a long time with concussions.
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Mohammed Siraj, Indian national cricket team, cricket, Australian men’s cricket team
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