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The racial abuse made me stronger – Mohammed Siraj

January 25, 2021

Written By,

Payel Gosh

Mohammed Siraj was subjected to racial abuse during the 2020 Border Gavaskar Trophy. However, this did not demotivate Siraj. Instead, he answered in style, picking up a 5 wicket haul in the 4th Test of the 4 match Test series. Siraj stated that the racial slur directed at him only made him more strong mentally.  The 26 year old bowler was fielding near the boundary line on Day 3 of the 3rd Test. While fielding, the bowler heard racist chants from the spectators sitting nearby the boundary line. 

Prior to this incident, Team India went on to file an official complaint with the match referee for that Test. However, this did not impact the situation much. Siraj was also subjected to racial abuse on the next day of the 3rd Test. This time, Siraj reported the umpires on the field about it immediately. In a press conference, Siraj stated that the umpires asked Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane whether they wanted to continue the game. Rahane insisted that the team would continue as they respected the spirit of the game. 

I dedicated every wicket to my father - Mohammed Siraj

Siraj was quite brilliant with the ball in the Test outing against Australia. His celebration with fellow teammate Mayank Agarwal was a tribute to his late father. Siraj’s father passed away while Siraj was in quarantine back in Sydney undergoing preparation for the Tests against Australia. Siraj could have left the series preparation midway. However, he opted to represent his country. Siraj’s father always wanted his son to play Test cricket for India. Siraj created history, becoming the 1st Indian to pick a 5 wicket haul at the Gabba. Conceding just 73 runs and taking 5 wickets, Siraj helped India restrict Australia to a chaseable total.

India’s key bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin were out with injuries. This meant that the inexperienced Siraj had to take charge of the Indian bowling line-up. This was Siraj’s maiden Test series in the Indian jersey. Siraj also credited his success in the series to his teammates and the support staff. He stated that the motivation and support he got from around him kept him pushing further. It is a possibility that Siraj might not play in the starting XI after India’s injury crisis is over. However, he has proved that he can be relied upon when the team needs someone to deliver.

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Written By,

Payel Gosh