Mohammed Siraj has revealed that he remembered his father during the national anthem on Thursday before he broke into tears.
The Hyderabad pacer lost his father while he was on the Australian tour. He had decided to stay back and play for India instead of returning home for the last rites.
Siraj got his debut opportunity soon and made an instant impact in the second Test in Melbourne. The 26-year-old took five crucial wickets in India's memorable victory.
In the third Test in Sydney, Siraj once again got the big breakthrough for India by making David Warner edge a wide delivery to first slip.
Speaking at a virtual press conference, Siraj wistfully remembered his dad's wish of seeing him play Test cricket.
"I remembered my dad during the national anthem, my dad always wanted me to play Test cricket. If he was there today, he would have seen me playing," said Mohammed Siraj.
"We had planned on bowling short balls to Will Pucovski" - Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj could have got another wicket on the first day had Rishabh Pant held on to an easy catch. Siraj had beaten Will Pucovski with a pacy bouncer and the batter could only manage a feather off his glove.
Pant ran backwards and threw a dive, but the ball slipped through his gloves and hit the ground.
Talking about the plan to counter the exciting Aussie debutant, Siraj said the team had come prepared to challenge him with bouncers.
"When we played a practice game against Australia A, we bowled short balls to Pucovski then also, we were seeing that Pucovski was not keen on leaving the ball, he was going after it, so we had a plan of bowling short balls to him, but our main focus was bowling good line and length to him." Mohammed Siraj explained.
"It (catches being dropped) is a part of the game, bowlers do get upset. But these things happen and one can only get focused on the next ball. The wicket is good, we were just planning on creating pressure, it's an easy wicket, our bouncers were also not that effective," he added.
Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne have laid a solid foundation for a big score on a belter of a track at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
India will need to strike the perfect balance between experimenting and patient bowling on Friday to get ahead in this crucial Test match.Published 07 Jan 2021, 15:46 IST