India pacer Mohammed Siraj, who on Monday picked up five wickets to become only the fifth Indian bowler to pick a fifer n a Test at iconic Gabba, has shown remarkable level of fitness throughout the four-match rubber against Australia. Playing only his third Test, Siraj claimed his maiden five-wicket-haul – 5/73 – and along with Thakur, who contributed with 4/61, helped India bowl Australia out for 294 in the second innings on Monday. In the absence of senior pros like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and more recently Jasprit Bumrah – Siraj showed admirable guts and gumption to lead a bowling unit that had a combined experience of two Tests before the Brisbane Test.
Mohammed Siraj’s late father had always dreamt of watching his son play the trade at the highest level but as luck would have it, the wish remained unfulfilled as he died weeks before his son”s Test debut in Australia, where the pacer emerged as the highest wicket-taker for India.
The 26-year-old Siraj lost his father Mohammed Ghaus, an autorickshaw driver on November 20, a week or so after the Indian team landed in Australia and could not return home for the last rites due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
The decision to remain with the team Down Under showed his determination to succeed and also fulfil his father”s dream.
“It was my (late) father”s dream that Siraj should represent India in Tests. He always wanted to see him (Siraj) in blue and white jersey to represent the nation, so the dream got fulfilled,” Siraj”s brother Mohammed Ismail told PTI.