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"Mohammed Siraj has reaped the rewards of the hard work he has put in" - Zaheer Khan on Siraj's five-wicket haul

Mohammed Siraj took a five-wicket haul in Australia
Mohammed Siraj took a five-wicket haul in Australia's second innings of the Brisbane Test
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 18 Jan 2021
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Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan has said that Mohammed Siraj's maiden five-wicket haul in Australia's second innings of the Brisbane Test is the rightful reward for his toil over the years.

Mohammed Siraj returned figures of 5/73 on the penultimate day of the Test to help India dismiss Australia for 294 runs. This effort is the second-best performance by an Indian pacer at the Gabba, only behind Madan Lal's 5/72.

During a discussion on the Sony Sports network, Zaheer Khan was asked about Mohammed Siraj's strong comeback after a rather indifferent start to the day.

While analyzing what went wrong initially from the Hyderabad pacer, Khan said that Siraj erred in either line or length in his first spell.

"This happens at times with a bowler that when you come for your first spell of the day, you feel that the things will happen automatically or else you try a little extra to create things. Today morning when his line was fine, the length was a little too full because of which Warner played a few good shots. When he bowled the right length, his line was a little wide and he got hit for a few boundaries there also."

Zaheer Khan lauded Mohammed Siraj for rectifying the issue when he came back to bowl his second spell. He added that the lanky pacer's returns were an apt reward for his hard work over the years.

Mohammed Siraj dismissed Australia's last batsman, Josh Hazlewood when both he and Shardul Thakur had taken four wickets apiece.

"But when he came back, he had thought about what will work on this wicket, controlled himself and the sort of series he has had and the performances he has given, he reaped the rewards of the hard work he has put in to play at this level. Both he and Shardul were on four wickets, but Siraj got the final wicket."

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"The expectation is that Mohammed Siraj continues in the same vein" - Zaheer Khan

Mohammed Siraj admirably led an inexperienced Indian attack
Mohammed Siraj admirably led an inexperienced Indian attack

Zaheer Khan pointed out Mohammed Siraj's immense love for the game and the sacrifices he has made to realise his dreams. The 26-year-old had to overcome the emotion of his father's demise when he was already in Australia with the Indian team.

"Everyone knows he is very emotional and has a lot of passion for the game. He will be feeling relieved in the dressing room that he has put in so much effort and made so many sacrifices, and he has got the fruit of that."
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Zaheer Khan also highlighted that Mohammed Siraj is a quick learner and hoped that he goes from strength to strength.

"You will mostly see him bowling the good length as he is a skiddy kind of bowler. He needs to make the adjustment early according to the wicket and he will learn that as he goes on playing. The way he came back today shows that he can make the adjustment. So, the expectation is that he continues in the same vein and does not reduce his willingness to learn."

Mohammed Siraj, who is playing just his third Test match, is the most experienced bowler in the Indian attack at Brisbane. His consistent performances has made him a contender for a permanent spot in the Indian bowling lineup even after Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Umesh Yadav recover from their injuries.


Published 18 Jan 2021, 18:47 IST
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