VVS Laxman shares a throwback picture of Mohammed Siraj, hails the fellow Hyderabadi

VVS Laxman and Mohammed Siraj (Photo: Laxman's Facebook Profile)
VVS Laxman and Mohammed Siraj (Photo: Laxman's Facebook Profile)
Suvajit Mustafi

Indian cricket legend VVS Laxman has shared a photograph with Mohammed Siraj on social media when the latter was a child. Heaping praises on the fellow Hyderabadi, Laxman stated that Siraj’s life is a “testament of what one can achieve through hard work and will-power”.

Mohammed Siraj was one of India’s heroes from the 2021 Lord’s win over England. Playing just his seventh Test, the right-arm pacer claimed eight wickets in the match, playing a big role in India’s emphatic 151-run victory. The win at Lord’s marked India’s third victory at the iconic venue as the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series.

Recalling his first meeting with Mohammed Siraj at Hyderabad cricket stalwart Abdul Azeem’s residence, VVS Laxman wrote:

“Met him for the first time at former Hyderabad great Abdul Azeem’s (in background) residence. And I feel so proud to see the rapid progress Mohammed Siraj has made in international cricket and already created such a huge impact."

He further wrote:

"His life is another testament of what one can achieve through hard work, consistent efforts & will-power. More power to you young man. Pray that your journey only gets brighter and you achieve much success, love and joy.”

Earlier, during the Lord’s Test, VVS Laxman spoke highly of Mohammed Siraj’s positive attitude and readiness to give more than 100% every ball. He also opined that the 27-year-old was now India’s third pacer after Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.

Mohammed Siraj’s phenomenal rise

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj grew up in a modest household with his father driving an autorickshaw in Hyderabad. He first made his name by bagging an ₹2.6 crore contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the 2017 IPL Auction.

Consistent performances in first-class cricket earned Mohammed Siraj a berth in India’s Test squad for the 2020-21 tour of Australia. During the tour, he lost his father but didn’t return home due to the quarantine restrictions as it would jeopardize his playing chances, something that was his father’s dream.

He overcame his emotions and impressed on his Test debut in Melbourne. In Sydney, he was vocal against the racist chants and by the time he played his third Test in Brisbane, he was already the leader of the bowling unit due to injuries to the main players. With his maiden five-for, he bowled India to a remarkable win.

In the seven Tests that he has played, he has 27 wickets to his name at an average of 26.29. His wickets have come at an impressive strike rate of 52.9.

Edited by Samya Majumdar


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