Edited By: Amrit Santlani
Last Updated: February 22, 2023, 15:34 IST
Former Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun recently recalled a never-heard-before tale about Mohammed Siraj, when the Indian pacer was still playing for India A and how he kept bombarding Arun about his chances of getting picked for the senior team.
Arun was part of the Indian coaching staff when Ravi Shastri was the head coach. The team, captained by Virat Kohli went on to achieve great heights, including some memorable results.
Siraj, before going to impress on Australian soil and helping India register an impressive win at Gabba, was a teenager who was plying his trade for India A and he kept nagging Arun about his chance to play for the senior side.
Speaking on Cricbuzz Specials show, ‘Rise of New India’, Arun recalled how a young Siraj had claimed 41 wickets during Ranji Trophy 2016-17 for Hyderabad but the former Indian bowling coach felt he still needed a bit of finishing.
“Subsequently after doing well for Hyderabad, I went and joined the Indian team while Siraj played India A. And every time he did well in a match, he would call me and say ‘Sir, when are you calling me?’,” revealed Arun.
I asked ‘Where?’ and he would go ‘In the Indian team sir. When will I get a chance?’ I said ‘Pick more wickets and once you impress in India A tour, you will be there,’ he added.
After impressing for India A, and then doing well for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPl, the youngster finally made his India debut in 2017. Arun recalled how then-Indian coach Shastri was impressed with Siraj’s self-belief. After making his Test debut in 2020, the pacer has since cemented his place in the Indian team.
“Every time he bowled a good spell, I thought he did an exceptional job while playing for India A. One such call I remember; Ravi Shastri asked me and was like ‘Kaun hai yeh? (Who is he?)’,” Bharat Arun said.
He continued, “I said ‘Siraj… this is the background and he is calling me to ask when he would be part of this Indian team. One thing Ravi told me was ‘you have to give him credit for his confidence’. Someone who has the belief to call me and ask me ‘When are you calling me? That’s confidence’.”
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