India pacer Mohammed Siraj says he wants to be the leading wicket-taker for the country and, in order to achieve this dream, will always put his best foot forward.
Siraj will next be seen playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, beginning April 9. His side will lock horns with defending champions Mumbai Indians in the first match of the 2021 tournament.
"Jasprit Bumrah used to stand beside me whenever I was bowling. He told me to stick to the basics and not do something extra. It's great learning to talk to such an experienced player.
"I even played with Ishant Sharma; he has played 100 Tests. It felt good to share the dressing room with him. My dream is to be the highest wicket-taker for India and I will work hard whenever I get an opportunity," Siraj said, in a video posted on the official Twitter handle of RCB.
Siraj made his Test debut against Australia in December last year. He impressed one and all ,and he even took a fifer at the Gabba.
During the Australia tour, he lost his father, and then the pacer was also subjected to racial abuse in Sydney.
He then also went on to play Test matches against England during the home series earlier this year.
"During Australia tour, I was in quarantine and when we came back from practice I got to know my father passed away. Unfortunately, no one could come to my room. I called home and my fiancee, mother were very supportive and they told me that I need to fulfill my father's dream of seeing me play for India," said Siraj.
Talking about his bond with India bowling coach Bharat Arun, he said: "Arun sir treats me like a son. When I talk to him, it boosts my confidence. When he was in Hyderabad, he always told me to focus on line and length. I want to play all three formats for India. Whatever opportunities I get, I want to give my 100 per cent and grab them with both hands. There is a series against England after the IPL, I will give my best."
Asked about his IPL 2020 campaign, Siraj said: "Last year, when I joined RCB, I was low on confidence. But when I started bowling with the new ball, I was also bowling on a single wicket, which helped me a lot. And then the performance against KKR gave me a lot of confidence. The team culture here is so nice that everyone used to get together and discuss stuff like Virat does."