Mohammed Siraj, the talented Hyderabad pacer known affectionately as ‘Miyan bhai’ by his teammates, has risen to become a prominent figure in the national cricket team. Despite a slow start to his international career in 2017, Siraj’s hard work has paid off, especially after his impactful performance during India’s tour of Australia in 2020-21, where he also made his Test debut. Despite facing personal tragedy and racial slurs, Siraj remained motivated and played a pivotal role in India’s triumphant campaign Down Under.
Since then, Siraj’s career has been on an upward trajectory, excelling in all formats of the game. In the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), he has been a vital member of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, emerging as their leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps from 12 matches. Not only has Siraj impressed with his bowling skills, but he has also shown some aggression on the field, engaging in heated exchanges with players from Lucknow Super Giants and Delhi Capitals.
During a candid conversation on Gaurav Kapoor’s show “Breakfast With Champions,” Siraj shared an intriguing incident involving KL Rahul, where he found himself on the receiving end. The incident occurred when Siraj was still a net bowler, yet to make his IPL debut, and was bowling to KL Rahul, who was playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore at the time.
Siraj performed well in the Under-23 team and took a wicket in a Ranji Trophy match. However, he was dropped from the team altogether after being excluded from the next two matches.
The following year, Siraj served as a net bowler for SRH. He decided to test KL Rahul with a barrage of bouncers, which ultimately left the batsman infuriated. Rahul remarked, “Do you only know bouncers?”
This incident caught the attention of Bharat Arun, the bowling coach at the time. Impressed with Siraj’s skills, Arun inquired about the young bowler’s identity from VVS Laxman. Siraj’s performance had left a lasting impression.
The following year, Arun took charge as the coach of the Hyderabad team in the Ranji Trophy. Despite the selectors’ hesitation to include Siraj in the squad, Arun insisted on having him on the team. He made it clear that if the association didn’t comply, he wouldn’t join. Eventually, Arun’s determination paid off, and Siraj was selected. He went on to become the highest wicket-taker for Hyderabad that season, further solidifying his position in the team.
Mohammed Siraj’s journey from a net bowler to a vital player in the Indian cricket team serves as an inspiring tale of perseverance and determination. His relentless hard work and impressive performances have rightfully earned him the recognition and success he enjoys today.