Mohammed Siraj described making his Test debut for India as the biggest achievement of his life. Siraj made his debut at the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne and had a memorable first day, picking up 2 for 40 apart from taking a couple of catches.
Siraj had to wait for his turn with the ball though, as captain Ajinkya Rahane made him wait till the 28th over.
“When I got the cap, I felt good, it was the biggest achievement of my life," Siraj told fielding coach R Sridhar in a video on bcci.tv.
“It looked like I wouldn’t get bowling, our bowlers were bowling really well in the first session. After that Ajju bhai spoke to me and I gained a lot of confidence. Jassi bhai (Jasprit Bumrah) also gave me a lot of confidence.
“My hands were itching to bowl out there, and after lunch when Ajju bhai told me to bowl, I began warming up. Then he said to me ‘you’ll only bowl for two overs’. Jadeja was to be brought on and rightly so because there was moisture on the wicket and it was helpful for the spinners.
“At that time, I thought I’ll be ready for a run out and contribute that way if I can. I was confident.
“After lunch when I came in, it had turned into a batting wicket and my plan was to bowl as many dot balls as possible and build pressure. I also got a wicket with that pressure."
Siraj spoke about his delivery to Cameron Green, which trapped the batsman lbw. Siraj set him up perfectly, bowling a bunch of outswingers before getting one to swing in.
“That is natural for me,” Siraj said when asked about swing. “I was trying to come close to the wickets as well as go wide of it. In swing comes naturally to me.
“My outswingers were landing well too. After bowling a few inswingers and I bowled two complete overs of outswing. Then I bowled one ball which was the inswinger which got him. It felt nice to set him up and get his wicket."
Siraj’s senior pacer Bumrah was all praise for the debutant Siraj in the post-match press conference.
“He has worked really hard and come up the ranks. He was eager to bowl in the first session itself. There wasn’t a lot happening after lunch and he (Siraj) bowled with a lot of control," he said.
“Suddenly he started getting some movement and wanted to make the best of it. Playing his first Test match, he bowled really well and had confidence of using all his skills. It’s a heartening sign for us and hopefully he will continue doing that."