Known for his lethal toe-crushing yorkers, 26-year old Mohammed Siraj is an Indian right arm fast bowler. Siraj was born on 13 March 1994 in Hyderabad and for someone who is self-taught, his rise in the Indian cricket arena has been remarkably swift.
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Siraj is a son of an auto rickshaw driver and his childhood was full of hardships due to family's low income. He never went to a cricket academy or had a coach. Smitten by cricket, he used to play street cricket with a tennis ball and often bunked classes to play.
In 2015, Siraj went to the nets at the Charminar Cricket Club on a friend's invitation and impressed everyone. He took five wickets in a match and soon his hard work paid dividends as he was named as a probable in the state's U-23 side.
He then played for the senior zonal side and continued working hard. Siraj made his first-class debut for Hyderabad on 15 November 2015 in the Ranji Trophy and played only one game. Siraj played only one game in his debut first class season and had to wait to get more opportunities. In the 2016 Ranji Trophy, he performed exceedingly well as Hyderabad made the quarter finals. Siraj ended up being the highest wicket-taker for Hyderabad and third leading wicket-taker of the 2016 Ranji Trophy, taking 41 wickets in nine matches at an impressive average of 18.92. He was then picked to play for the Rest of India team and good performances resulted in him being included in the India A squad to tour South Africa in July 2017. In February 2018, he was the leading wicket-taker in the 2017–18 Vijay Hazare Trophy, with 23 dismissals in seven matches. In October 2018, he was named in India A's squad for the 2018–19 Deodhar Trophy. In October 2019, he was named in India B's squad for the 2019–20 Deodhar Trophy.In 36 first class matches, Siraj has taken 147 wickets at an average of 23.00 Also, he has taken 81 wickets at 23.37 in 41 List A matches. In the T20 format, he has taken 79 wickets in 58 matches at an average of 22.54 with an economy of 8.44.
The amazing performances in Ranji Trophy resulted in him being roped by Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping Rs. 2.6 crore which was 13 times his base price. In 2017 IPL, he played six matches and picked 10 wickets at an average of 21.2, with the best performance of 4/32. A deceptive slower ball and a natural in-swinger make him an effective limited overs bowler. After being released by SRH, the Royal Challengers Bangalore think-tank saw enough potential in the youngster and bought him at the IPL 2018 Player Auction for INR 2.20 cr. He played 11 matches that season and took 11 wickets. The 2019 season was bit dull for him and he will be hoping to make a comeback in the 2020 season.
After impressive performances in domestic cricket, Siraj was included in India's T20I squad to play against New Zealand. He made his T20I debut against New Zealand in November 2017 and took his maiden T20I wicket of Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson. He ended up with figures of 4-0-1-53. Since then, he has played only two more T20Is and taken two more wickets.
In December 2018, he was named in India's ODI squad for their series against Australia.He made his ODI debut against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on 15 January 2019. He couldn't pick any wicket in the match but India won the match by 6 wickets, courtesy a stellar Virat Kohli century.
Mohammad Siraj’s family isn’t financially well-off; his father drives an auto-rickshaw in Hyderabad. He started playing cricket as a batsman but later developed into a bowler. It was his elder brother who pushed him into professional cricket.