My dream is to play for India: Mohammed Siraj
Published - Feb 2, 2017 9:01 pm | Updated - Feb 18, 2017 12:02 am
Coming into the 2016-17 season, having played just 1 first-class game, Hyderabad’s right-arm medium pacer Mohammed Siraj might have not thought of representing the Rest of India team in Irani Cup aginst Ranji Trophy champs and now is all set to feature for the India A team against the touring Australian side.
“I felt very happy when I got to play for Rest of India. When I heard that I was going to play for India A, I couldn’t express my happiness. I never expected that I will be playing for Indian teams in this season only. My aim coming into the season was to perform consistently.” the 22-year-old youngster said in an elabourate chat with CricTracker.
Siraj, who lives near Banjara Hills is the son of Mohammad Ghouse, an auto driver by living for over 25 years. The youngster is hopeful of convincing his father to give up auto driving and to make sure they lead a happier life here on since all these years they backed him to live his dream of playing cricket. “My parents never discouraged me from playing cricket. They are now very happy looking at my performances. I want to buy a small house. I have seen my parents struggle for so many years with financial problems. My mother used to work in houses till last year. Now I am trying to convince my father to give up his auto driving.”
Siraj picked up a total of 41 wickets and played a crucial role in the team’s success during the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy season. Talking about how the tournament went for him, he said, “I was very happy about my performance with the ball. I am very happy that my team Hyderabad topped the table and made it to the quarters and I was able to contribute.”
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“I can’t express how much they both (skipper S Badrinath and coach Bharat Arun) helped me in gaining confidence,” said the 22-year old about the Hyderabad team management. Siraj is thankful to his partners in crime, Ravi Kiran and CV Milind, the trio that picked over 100 wickets in the season between them. “They (Ravi and Milind) kept supporting me. They helped me in understanding the game very well.”
From playing tennis ball cricket, he didn’t take long to excel in the red ball cricket. While he was a tennis ball cricketer Siraj was a batsman who could bowl. However, when he took a suggestion from his friends to play two-day leagues, his career changed completely. “Few of my friends advised me to play in HCA two-day league for my Charminar team as I bowled at decent pace. In 2015, I played there and picked over 59 wickets in the season and was selected for Hyderabad Under-23 team.”
Success kept growing up on for Siraj as he performed well in the CK Nayudu Trophy 2015-16 for Hyderabad U23s. He picked up a total of 24 wickets and finished among the top wicket-takers in the tournament at an average of 23.33 and made into the Hyderabad senior team. ”In that tournament, I bowled very well. Arjun Yadav (Coach) helped me with my bowling and improved my line and lengths. Papal Rao (Physio) has helped me in improving my fitness. Himalay Agarwal (Hyderabad U23 captain) backed me very well when I was bowling,” Siraj said mentioning the ones who are behind his success.
Siraj has bowled in the nets to various teams during the last IPL season and has even attended the trials for Delhi Daredevils this year and is hopeful about bagging an IPL contract.
“My dream is to play for India. I want to play IPL to play against bigger sides. I am performing well in the T20 tournament and I hope I am attracting the IPL teams,” Siraj signed off saying he idolizes Mitchell Starc’s sharp Yorker and Dale Steyn’s reverse swing.