AUS vs IND: From Domestic Cricket To Test Debut, Here Is The Inspirational Journey Of Mohammed Siraj
Hyderabad pace bowler Mohammed Siraj will face baptism of fire when he makes Test debut in the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting on Saturday.
The right-arm pace bowler has finally been rewarded for his performances in domestic first-class cricket and for India A, and replaces Mohammed Shami whose bowling arm was fractured by a delivery from Pat Cummins last Saturday, during the first Test in Adelaide.
The 26-year-old Hyerabadi has played in ODIs (1) and T20Is (3). He had made his first-class debut in 2015 and has taken 152 wickets in 38 matches so far.
On the current tour of Australia, he played both the warm-up matches and had spells of 3/83, 1/26 and 1/54.
Siraj had been a consistent performer all this while but shot into limelight recently after becoming the first bowler in IPL's 13-year history to bowl two maiden overs, that too wicket-maiden, for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Siraj was the leading wicket-taker for Hyderabad in Ranji Trophy in 2016/17, with 41 wickets. That performance catapulted him and landed him a contract with SunRisers Hyderabad in IPL 2017.
Even as his IPL career went up and down since joining the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2018 after a decent year with SunRisers Hyderabad in 2017, Siraj continued to pick wickets in first-class cricket at home, and led his team's pace attack in Ranji Trophy and also featuring for India A.
He took an eight-wicket haul against Australia A in Bengaluru in 2018 to come into national contention. The haul, a record for India A, followed a few fifers and four-wicket hauls against South Africa A and West Indies A that year. He also performed against the England Lions.
Year 2018 was a breakthrough one, though he had clicked earlier, taking wickets by the bucketful in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
He was rewarded an ODI cap in January 2019. However, he failed to perform and was sent back to the domestic grind -- until he was included in the Test XI for the second match in Melbourne starting on Saturday.