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Mohammed Siraj: All you need to know about the fast bowler who earned his maiden India call-up

Sunrisers Hyderabad 2016 IPL
Siraj became an instant hit for the SRH during IPL 2017
Ram Kumar
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As with every year, we have had some interesting and inspiring stories from the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL). Even as the focus has been on the high-profile international stars, plenty of emerging Indian players not only went for big money but justified it as well. One of those who went for a lot of money has now been picked in India’s T20I squad to face New Zealand.

Despite not a lot of domestic experience behind him, seamer Mohammed Siraj was signed for a massive INR 2.6 Crores by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Having set his base price at INR 20 Lakhs, the then 22-year-old saw Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) setting off a bidding war. However, the defending champions eventually managed to close the deal at 13 times his base price.

Here is everything you need to know about this promising fast bowler from Hyderabad who has now earned his maiden call-up to the national side.


#5 Began his career as a batsman

Not many would know that Siraj did not concentrate on becoming a fast bowler. Initially starting out as a batsman who could bowl a bit, the right-hander played predominantly with the tennis ball in his formative years.

It was Siraj’s friends who insisted on his participation in a league tournament in order to turn into a professional cricketer. For Charminar Cricket Club, he utilized those skills he had picked up from playing tennis ball cricket to add immense value to the team.

#4 Rising through the ranks

Mohammed Siraj
Siraj made his first-class debut in the 2015/16 season

Siraj made his first-class debut for Hyderabad in a Group C clash against Services in the 2015/16 Ranji Trophy. However, he did not feature in any more games in the tournament. The season’s 50-overs Vijay Hazare Trophy saw him receive only a couple of opportunities.

The right-arm pacer did not deter and returned to Hyderabad’s U-23 team wherein skipper Arjun Yadav helped him hone his skills in the bowling department. Upon putting in the hard yards, he came back a better bowler and put in impressive performances in the 2016/17 Ranji Trophy.

#3 Just reward for hard work

Mohammed Siraj
Siraj ended the 2016/17 Ranji Trophy as the joint-third highest wicket-taker

During the previous edition of the Ranji Trophy, Siraj played 9 matches and picked up 41 wickets at a remarkable average of 18.92. Though he picked up only one five-wicket haul, his consistency helped him end the tournament as the joint-third highest wicket-taker.

He was justly rewarded for his prolific form by getting included in the Rest of India team for the Irani Cup clash against Ranji Champions Gujarat. After sending down 16 fruitless overs in the first innings, Siraj picked up a couple of wickets in the second essay to play his part in his side’s 6-wicket victory.

#2 A new beginning for his family

Mohammed Siraj
Siraj hails from a humble background

Siraj‘s father, Mohammed Ghouse, is an auto rickshaw driver in the city. Through years and years of his hard-work, he was able to help the cricketer chase his dream. After earning close to INR 10 Lakhs from his two seasons with Hyderabad, the fast bowler revealed his desire to buy a house for his family and take good care of his father.

“My father has been driving his auto rickshaw for the last 30 years.I urged him to stop but he did not pay heed to my request. I'm confident of convincing him now. He needs a good rest. I may purchase a small house. I have seen my parents struggle with financial problems for so many years. Now, I want them to enjoy a good life”, Siraj told mid-day.

#1 Into the limelight

Mohammed Siraj
Siraj will be hoping to make a mark in the 2017 IPL season

Having fetched INR 2.6 crores in the auction, all eyes were on Siraj when he took the field for SRH in the 2017 edition of the IPL. Despite the presence of the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra and Mustafizur Rahman, Siraj caught the eye along with Siddarth Kaul.

Extra Cover: Thangarasu Natarajan – All you need to know about Kings XI Punjab's mystery seamer

After impressing in his first tryst with the IPL and for India A against New Zealand A at Vizag, Siraj will be looking to do the same when he joins up with the rest of the Indian squad upon the conclusion of the ODI series and in time for the T20I series that begins with the first T20I at Delhi. The game will be his SRH teammate, Ashish Nehra’s final international game and he will be hoping to make his international debut in the upcoming series.

Edited by Staff Editor
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