Joy to be part of such a unit led by an inspirational leader like Virat Kohli: Siraj

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safari
17 Sep 2021 | 05:42 AM
authorcricket.com staff

Joy to be part of such a unit led by an inspirational leader like Virat Kohli: Siraj

The right-arm paceman wants to transform himself into a proper match-winner

Mohammed Siraj has only featured in nine Tests but has managed to stamp his authority in red-ball cricket. The right-arm paceman from Hyderabad said he is disappointed at missing the chance to play the 2021 T20 World Cup, but wants to transform himself into a match-winner.

"Well, the selection is not in our hands. It was certainly a dream to play in the T20 World Cup. But, again, that is not the end of it all. I have many more goals - the biggest being to play a lead role in helping the team to win matches," Siraj explained in a chat with Sportstar.

"I will take things as they come for I believe in destiny and be content in whatever opportunities I get even as the pursuit for excellence at the highest level continues."

Siraj didn't play the World Test Championship final against New Zealand but featured in all four Tests against England. The 27-year-old picked 14 wickets in seven innings at an average of 30.71 and a strike rate of 54.3.

"The England tour was a great experience by any stretch of imagination. I am glad that I could repose the faith of my captain Virat bhai (Kohli), head coach Ravi Shastri, the support staff and the entire team. Definitely, bowling in tandem with big names like Shami bhai, Ishant bhai and Jasprit bhai is a huge learning curve for me. They were so supportive and always came up with invaluable tips to keep improving my bowling.

"Obviously, playing at Lords’ and performing there is something which I cannot explain in words even now. As a child, I came to know it as the Mecca of world cricket. And, it was an unforgettable experience to play there and help the team win the Test. I was disappointed at missing a five-wicket haul at that historic venue," said Siraj, who claimed four-wicket hauls in both innings of the second Test. 

"When I look back at England series, I have a feeling that in anybody’s career there will be a phase where if you perform well and live up to the expectations, you will be more confident in facing any kind of challenges. Frankly, I thought I had gone through such a phase successfully. That’s why I am more confident and aggressive now."

India were leading the five-match series 2-1 before the final Test was cancelled. Siraj said India were confident going into the series and also spoke about the advice he got from his skipper Virat Kohli.

"We were confident, though not complacent. This team is on a high after the memorable series win in Australia. It is a team with complete balance in all departments. And, personally, for me it is a joy to be part of such a unit led by such an inspirational leader like Virat bhai.

"Virat bhai said, we know that you are really good with your inswingers. But to keep the batsmen guessing, you should be equally good with the outswingers.' That’s what I have been working really hard and immensely pleased with the Lord’s spell."

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