Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)’s Director of Cricket Mike Hesson has lauded Mohammed Siraj’s growth as a bowler and said that the pacer has just been unlucky with his place in the national limited over-squad.
Hesson, who has worked closely with Siraj since his early days at RCB, said that the right-arm pacer has always been a great team man.
Recalling the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), when Siraj was yet to make his mark in the tournament, Hesson revealed that despite not being a regular feature in the RCB playing eleven, the youngster always focused on the game and brought a lot of energy to the camp.
“I always gauge a player when they are having a bit of struggle, and the energy that they bring to the group. And Siraj, when he was first here in 2020, he was not a guaranteed starter. In fact, he didn’t start. But the energy he brought to the group at every practice, at every open wicket, at every game that he wasn’t playing, he was always so much focused,” Hesson told Hindustan Times.
The RCB coach added that when Siraj finally got a chance to play for the team, everyone else in the camp was eager to see him do well.
Siraj in the 2020 season of IPL, picked 11 wickets in 9 matches with an average of 21.45 and an economy rate of 8.68 runs per over. This included a dream spell of 3 wicket haul while giving just 8 runs against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
While Siraj has gone on to make his mark as a Test bowler for India with his performance in the Australia tour of 2020-21, he us yet to get cement his place in T20I and ODIs. However, Hesson feels that it’s just part of the process and the pacer will soon cement his place in the squad.
Adding that Siraj has just been ‘unlucky’ to be playing in an era where the Indian pace attack has a lot of depth, the RCB coach said that many experience Indian players were potentially reaching the end of their careers. So, the selectors were giving them more opportunities to finish before Siraj takes over.