Mohammed Siraj was the talk of the day as much for his celebration on dismissing David Warner as for shedding tears when the national anthem was being played before the commencement of the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.
‘Wish he was here!’
The India pacer said the emotional reaction was caused by memories of his late father. “I missed my father badly during the national anthem, so I got emotional,” Siraj said. “My father wanted to watch me playing Test cricket. I wish he was here to actually see it.”
Siraj’s father, Mohammed Ghaus, passed away on November 20, just after the Indian contingent’s arrival in Australia. Siraj decided against returning home and was rewarded with a Test cap for the Boxing Day match. On Thursday, despite the Hyderabad speedster’s early strike, India could not check the Australian batting line-up on a flat deck at the SCG. Also contributing to Australia’s delight was wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant dropping Will Pucovski twice.
However, Siraj spoke up in support of Pant. “It is part of the game, catches get dropped at times. A bowler does feel it a little bit, but it’s not something you can control. So, we have to focus on the next ball,” he said.
The SCG pitch appears to be the best of the series for the batsmen. Siraj conceded that the bowlers had to play the waiting game to force batsmen into errors.
“It's a flat wicket. The ball is coming onto the bat nicely, so all that we were trying was to create pressure and stick to the same spot,” he said. “Even the bounce isn’t as much as it was in Melbourne.”