Ahead of the 2nd Test between India and Australia, Mohammed Siraj and Shubman Gill were given their Test caps. Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri handed Shubman Gill his Test cap at Melbourne. Mohammed Siraj received his Test cap from off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. The journey of both the debutants to this point have a lot of differences. However, the support of their fathers and the following impact will seem to have an uncanny resemblance. As India shift gears to revive magic in the ongoing series, Siraj and Gill are included in the playing XI.
Siraj’s father suddenly passed away on November 20. Siraj opted to continue his national duty and did not leave for his father’s last rights given the quarantine protocols would come in the way of his game. While speaking about how he kept his composure throughout, Siraj’s brother Ismail told Hindustan Times that for the last month, his brother always cried every time they spoke on the phone. Ismail further added that Team skipper Virat Kohli and Shastri gave Siraj strength and encouraged him. It was the bowler’s mother who wanted her son to realise her father’s dream. Although the family has been sad for a while Siraj’s Test is a slightly happy moment for them.
“My father must be really happy today. He wanted Siraj to make him and the nation proud. Whatever we are today, we owe it to the hard work of our parents; a lot to my father’s support. It is not easy to heal,” Ismail was quoted as saying.. Siraj’s late father, Ghous drove an auto-rickshaw for a living and used to take his son in the vehicle as there were no other means of travelling.
Shubman Gill, on the other hand, had a different backdrop. His father had the means to support him in his dreams. Gill’s first coach Lakhwinder said, “It will be a very special day for our family. Even my parents Didar Singh and Gurmel Kaur will be hooked to the TV in our village in Punjab. I hope I’m not nervous when he comes to bat. I tend to switch off the TV sometimes and see the recording later. Shubi has done well in the practice matches. Hopefully, he should have a memorable debut”.