NEW DELHI: India cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri on Friday lauded Mohammed Siraj for his contribution as the team registered a 2-1 series win over Australia. Shastri said the pacer fought through personal loss, racial remarks and "channelised them to find home in the team huddle".
Taking to Twitter, Shastri wrote: "Find of the tour for shoring up the bowling attack the way he did - Mohd Siraj. He fought through personal loss, racial remarks and channelised them to find home in the team huddle."
Siraj lost his father just before the start of the series in Australia. But the pacer decided to stay back and fulfill his father's dream of seeing him play red-ball cricket. Also, during the third Test in Sydney, Siraj along with Jasprit Bumrah had to face racial slurs from the Australian crowd.
Find of the tour for shoring up the bowling attack the way he did - Mohd Siraj. He fought through personal loss, racial remarks and channelised them to find home in the team huddle pic.twitter.com/qkzpXgqQiX— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) January 22, 2021
Commenting on the Sydney episode, Siraj on Thursday said: "Australian crowd started abusing me, it made me mentally strong. Not letting it hamper my performance was my prime concern. My job was to inform that I was being abused, I told the entire matter to captain (Ajinkya) Rahane. Umpires told us that you can walk off the field and leave the game but Ajju bhai told the umpire that we won't leave, we respect the game."
Siraj's hard work paid off on the fourth day of the fourth Test against Australia at the Gabba as he went on to register his maiden five-wicket haul.
The Indian pacer played three Test matches on the tour and scalped 13 wickets. Siraj made his debut for India during the MCG Test as pace spearhead Mohammed Shami got injured in the first Test in Adelaide.
On Tuesday, Australia's fortress -- The Gabba -- was finally breached. It took 32 years and two months, but the unthinkable was achieved as an injury-ravaged young Indian team beat Australia by three wickets against all odds to take the series 2-1.
The last time a visiting team came out triumphant from the Brisbane Cricket Ground was back in November 1988 when the mighty West Indian outfit under the leadership of Viv Richards thrashed Allan Border's team by 9 wickets.