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Emotional Siraj illustrates India's resilience

Last updated on: January 18, 2021 16:33 IST
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Mohammed Siraj celebrates after dismissing Josh Hazlewood and picking his fifth wicket

IMAGE: Mohammed Siraj celebrates after dismissing Josh Hazlewood and picking his fifth wicket. Photograph: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

An injury-ravaged India have shown tremendous resilience to stay afloat in the four-Test series against Australia and Mohammed Siraj best illustrated their never-say-die attitude with his maiden five-wicket haul in the Brisbane decider on Monday.

It has been an emotionally Testing tour for the 26-year-old who lost his father in November but stayed on to make his Test debut in Melbourne.

 

His mental strength was further Tested in Sydney, where a section of the crowd targeted him, prompting an investigation into India's allegation of racial abuse of some of their players.

Heading into Brisbane, Siraj found himself leading a depleted Indian pace attack that included Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini, both of whom had played only one Test, plus debutant T Natarajan.

The left-arm quick responded by claiming 5-73 to help to dismiss Australia for 294 in their second innings at the Gabba.

"I'm grateful I got this opportunity to play for India and managed a five-for. I wish my father was around to see it. This is because of his blessings that I have got a five-wicket haul in Tests. I am speechless and can't express my feelings in words," an emotional Siraj told a video conference.

"It was tough after he passed away. I spoke to my family and gained strength after talking to my mother. My focus was to fulfil my father's dream of me playing a Test match for India."

Siraj has done a lot more than that and will finish the series as India's most successful bowler with 13 wickets from three Tests.

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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021