CHENNAI: India pacer Mohammed Siraj has said that he wants to be the leading wicket-taker for the country and in order to achieve this dream, he will always keep his best foot forward.
Siraj will next be seen playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 beginning April 9. In the first match of the tournament, his side will lock horns against defending champions Mumbai Indians.
“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.
Siraj had made his Test debut against Australia in December last year. He managed to impress one and all and he even took a fifer at the Gabba. During the Australia tour, Siraj lost his father and then the pacer was also subjected to racial abuse at 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 fiance, 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, Siraj 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.”
When 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.”