Siraj reveals how Kohli backed him throughout his cricketing career
Mohammed Siraj is gradually turning out to be one of the important fast bowlers for Team India. He showcased his mettle in the Border Gavaskar Trophy series against Australia where he ended up as the leading wicket-taker of India.
Siraj who made his Test debut in the second match against Australia made a mark for himself by taking crucial wickets when it mattered the most. He registered his best bowling figures of 5/73 at a bowling average of 29.53. Since then, the right-arm pacer has established himself as one of the important members of the Indian Test team.
Needless to say, Siraj’s journey wasn’t that easy as just after a few days after he arrived in Australia, he received bad news of his father’s demise. Talking about the difficult phase, Siraj opened up that he used to cry in his hotel room but it was Indian captain Virat Kohli who stood by him and was always there to motivate him.
The 27-year-old pacer reckoned that India’s all-format captain made his cricketing career as he was always there to back him and pat his back in his lean patch.
Speaking to timesofindia.com, Siraj recalled, “He (Virat) has supported me through thick and thin. He has always been there for me and in all circumstances. I still remember how I was crying in the hotel room. Virat bhaiya came into my room and hugged me tightly and said – ‘I am with you, don’t worry.’
“Those words encouraged me a lot. He (Virat) played just one Test on the tour but his messages and calls motivated me. And that’s why I could perform. In fact, I didn’t have a good season with RCB in the past two years. But he (Virat) was always there to support me. He has backed me a lot.”
The Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer further credited Kohli for making whatever he is in his life today. “I had lost my father during the Australia series. I was shattered and not really in my senses. It was Virat bhaiya who gave me strength and support. Mera career Virat bhaiya ke wajah se hai (I owe my career to Virat),” he conceded.