Brisbane [Australia], January 18 (ANI): From losing his father days after reaching Australia with the national team to becoming a household name, life has come full circle for India pacer Mohammed Siraj. And applauding his heroics, former India opener Virender Sehwag said that Siraj has really grown as a cricketer in the ongoing Test series against Australia.
Siraj's hard work paid off on the fourth day of the ongoing fourth Test against Australia here at the Gabba as he went on to register his maiden five-wicket haul. The Indian pacer has played three Test matches on this tour of Australia, and has returned 13 wickets.
"The boy has become a man on this tour. Siraj, Leader of the attack in his first Test series and he has led from the front. The way newcomers have performed for India on this tour will be etched in memories for a long long time. Will be fitting if they retain the trophy," tweeted Sehwag.
Before the series against Australia started, Siraj had lost his father, but the pacer decided to stay back in Australia to fulfill his father's dream of seeing him play Test cricket. Former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop also tweeted to congratulate the Indian quick bowler on his maiden fifer.
"It's no consolation or small consolation. But given Mohammed Siraj lost his dad while in Australia and choose to stay on tour, you have to feel very pleased for him that he has ended the series with his first 5 wicket haul in test cricket," Bishop tweeted.
After the close of play on day four of the Gabba Test, Siraj revealed that it has been very tough for him, but a phone call from his mother gave the pacer much-needed confidence to go out and express himself.
"I am thankful that I was able to pick five wickets as it was a very tough situation for me after my dad passed away. But after talking to my mom at home, I gained some confidence. The call with my mom made me mentally strong. My focus was to fulfill my dad's wish," said Siraj while replying to a query from ANI.
In the final session, with rain playing spoilsport, the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill could face just 1.5 overs before the umpires decided to call for early stumps. India need 324 runs on the final day with 10 wickets in the bag at Australia's fortress -- The Gabba. (ANI)