India pacer Mohammed Siraj has attributed his growth in international cricket to the support he has been receiving from his India and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, Virat Kohli. The Hyderabad pacer said Kohli has been standing by him through thick and thin of his career.
Virat Kohli backs Mohammed Siraj
Siraj got his maiden call in the Australia tour and had a successful start in his international cricket career. The Hyderabad pacer topped the bowling charts for India with 13 wickets from 3 matches, including a 5-wicket haul in the Gabba Test.
Notably, Siraj chooses to stay with the team even after losing his father who died when he was in Australia. The pacer revealed that the support from Kohli and his teammates kept him motivated during those trying times.
“Virat bhaiya always says — you have the ability, the ability to play on any wicket and get rid of any batsman,” Siraj told The TOI.
“I had lost my father during the Australia series. I was shattered and not really in my senses. It was Virat bhaiya who gave me strength and support. I owe my career to Virat.
“Virat has supported me through thick and thin. He has always been there for me in all circumstances. I remember how I was crying in the hotel room. Vrirat bhaiya came to my room and hugged me tightly and said ‘I am with you, don’t worry’. Those words encouraged me a lot. He played just one Test on the tour but his messages and calls motivated me,” he added.
Kohli glimpse him on England Tour
Recently during the IPL (which was suspended indefinitely after 29 matches), Siraj was standing outside the RCB dressing room after an IPL 2021 match against Chennai Super Kings which his team lost by 69 runs when RCB team captain Virat gave him another pep talk.
Siraj revealed that Kohli acknowledged the improvement in his bowling and asked him to be ready for the England tour. Siraj has been named in the 20-man squad for the World Test Championship final and the subsequent 5-Test series in England in August-September.
“Recently, after our match vs CSK (in now-suspended IPL 2021), Virat bhaiya came and said ‘the changes you have brought about in your bowling are amazing. It will be benefiting our team. Be ready for the England tour. All the best’. These words from one of the best captains in the world motivate me a lot,” Siraj said.