Team India pacer Mohammed Siraj recently spoke about how he was handed the responsibility of leading the pace attack in the absence of senior seamers during the side's tour of Australia in 2020-21.
Siraj, who made his Test debut in the second Test of the aforementioned series, had to spearhead the Indian attack after the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav were ruled out of the final fixture due to injuries.
Speaking on the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) podcast, Mohammed Siraj mentioned that he relished the challenge and was pleased with his bowling exploits.
"I enjoyed bowling the most in Australia," he said. "Because when the main bowlers were not available, mostly injured, I became the leader of the pace attack in only my third Test and started bowling with the new ball. It was a great moment. I got a big responsibility and I fulfilled that by performing, which was a big dream come true."
Mohammed Siraj starred with the ball and was the leading wicket-taker for India in the series, bagging 13 scalps in three Tests. While the tour was an injury-marred one for the visitors, they still managed to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 in historic fashion.
"I was shocked" - Mohammed Siraj on his reaction after getting to know of Jasprit Bumrah's unavailability for the Gabba Test
Mohammed Siraj revealed that he found out that Jasprit Bumrah was not going to play in the fourth Test of the series only on the morning of the match.
The Hyderabad-born pacer recalled being taken aback after learning of the speedster's unavailability for the crucial contest. Siraj, however, highlighted that the young pacers backed each other in the match, eventually rising to the occasion.
"I was not even aware that Jassi bhai [Jasprit Bumrah] would also not play the last match," Siraj elaborated. "When I arrived at the ground and started my warm-ups, that's when I was told even Jassi bhai is not playing. It was announced in the team huddle. I was shocked.
"There were no seniors in the attack, just youngsters. I played two matches, Shardul and Saini one each. There was no experience in the attack. We developed a unique youngsters' unity and started helping each other during the bowling. That felt great."
It is worth noting that India clinched a thrilling three-wicket win over Australia at the Gabba, a victory that remains etched in the memory of Indian fans to date.
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