Mohammed Siraj was one of India’s biggest finds in the 2020-21 season. However, the pacer revealed that he was low on confidence when he joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) camp for IPL 2020.
Ahead of IPL 2021, in an interview for RCB’s Bold Diaries, Siraj revealed that bowling with a new ball on a single wicket, the team environment led by captain Virat Kohli and his performance against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) acted as confidence boosters.
“Last year, when I joined RCB, I was a bit low on confidence. But when I started bowling with the new ball on a single wicket, that helped me. And then that performance against KKR gave me a lot of confidence.
“The team culture was brilliant. We would all gather together and discuss things in the presence of our captain Virat Kohli,” said Mohammed Siraj.
Making a comeback to the RCB XI, Siraj registered figures of 4-2-8-3 against KKR at Abu Dhabi last year. He became the first bowler to bowl consecutive maidens in an IPL game, with both of them coming in the Powerplay. Siraj finished the tournament with 11 wickets from 9 matches at 21.45 and an economy rate of 8.68.
He would later star in India’s successful campaign in Australia, claiming a five-for in the Brisbane Test as a second-string Indian side became the first team to beat the hosts at the Gabba in 32 years.
Bharat Arun treats me like his son: Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj went on to shower praise on India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun, stating that the former India pacer treats him like his son.
“Bharat Arun sir treats me like his son. Whenever I talk to him, he boosts my confidence. Even in the Indian camp, it’s the same as what it was having him with Hyderabad. He always asked me to focus on the basics and stick to my line and length. He says not to try something extra but focus on fitness,” Mohammed Siraj said before adding that he harbours an ambition to be a regular in all the three formats for India.
Siraj's performances at the national set-up should prove to have boosted his confidence ahead of an IPL season where he could play a crucial role for his franchise. RCB kick off their campaign with the season opener against the Mumbai Indians on April 9.