Bangalore: India and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s fast bowler Mohammed Siraj has spoken highly about his captain. The fast bowler credits Kohli for always believing in him and giving him the confidence. The 27 year old said he owes his career to Virat Kohli, because he has supported him in and out.
Since his debut in Australia Siraj has gone from strength to strength in the past few months. The youngster showed his talent and skill on the field. After his father’s demise even though he was not expected to start any game, Siraj decided to stay in Australia and it turned in his favour for good. He came into his own as experienced pacer Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav got injured at Down Under. Senior fast bowlers injuries have worked in Siraj’s favour and he ended up playing last three Tests on the tour. Where he played key role, picking up 13 wickets in the three games he played. He went onto take a fifer in final Test Brisbane. The 26-year-old paid tribute to his late father by finishing the series as the highest wicket-taker for his team.
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“He (Virat) has supported me through thick and thin. He has always been there for me and in all circumstances,” Siraj was quoted as saying to Times of India.
Siraj received the tragic news of his father’s death in Australia which broke him down completely. Recalling the support he got from Kohli, he credits Kohli for his support during the tough phase. He reveals how the skipper approached him in the hotel room and talked with him while he cried for the loss of his father.
“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. Mera career Virat bhaiya ke wajah se hai (I owe my career to Virat). He (Virat) has supported me through thick and thin. He has always been there for me and in all circumstances. I still remember how I was crying in the hotel room. Virat bhaiya came into my room and hugged me tightly and said – ‘I am with you, don’t worry.’ Those words encouraged me a lot,” the 27 year old added.
Kohli, who returned back home after playing the first Test but he remained in touch with Siraj over calls or messages and kept motivating him, which Siraj believes is the reason why he could perform like the way he did on the tour.
“He (Virat) played just one Test on the tour but his messages and calls motivated me. And that’s why I could perform. In fact, I didn’t have a good season with RCB in the past two years. But he (Virat) was always there to support me. He has backed me a lot.”
He is now ready for another overseas tournaments as he has been named in Virat Kohli-led 20-man Indian squad for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand and then a five-match Test series against England.