Mohammed Siraj, featuring in only the third Test of his career, was forced to take the responsibility of leading the Indian bowling attack against Australia at the Gabba. The task could've proved to be too daunting for many but on Day 4 of the fourth Test, the pacer from Hyderabad showed why he's special, with a maiden fifer, which included the wickets of in-form batsmen Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith. Two brilliant balls to dismiss two brilliant batsmen.
Siraj finished with figures of 5/73 in 19.5 overs. Captain Ajinkya Rahane handed him the ball and asked him to lead the side to the dressing room after the fall of the final Australian wicket in the third innings of the match. It was an emotional moment for Siraj, who braved personal loss and racist abuse to make a significant impact on a very tough away tour.
Australia were bowled out for 294, setting a target of 328 for India. Early stumps was taken on the fourth day due to the rain, so on the final day of what has been a magnificent series, the visitors need 324 more runs to clinch victory. Australia will hope that the weather is better on Tuesday and they get a chance to win the Test and regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Here's how Twitter reacted to Siraj's spell on Day 4:
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 18, 2021
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.
— Ian bishop (@irbishi) January 18, 2021
Lost his father. But chose to stay in Australia.
Got racially abused....but didn’t let that affect him.
Became the leader of the attack in only his third Test. And he’s taken a five-for. Love and respect for you Siraj. 👏👏 #AusvInd
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 18, 2021
Well bowled Mohammad Siraj. Your development as this tour has progressed has been heartwarming. Wish you a long career.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 18, 2021
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. pic.twitter.com/8bRvMI1iwR
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 18, 2021
“You’ll end up with a five-wicket haul in this Test series. Your father’s dua (blessing) is with you,” is what the two head coaches had told Mohammad Siraj when he went for practice following his dad’s passing. Two months later. A Star is Born #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/juxfZEJUe9
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) January 18, 2021
Bereaved at the start of the series & then going on to make your debut & get a fifer in the same series, Siraj take a bow!
Your father is a proud man and smiling from above seeing his son do well for the country ❤️#AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/8z4TajieyG
— DK (@DineshKarthik) January 18, 2021
Wonderful moment for Mohammed Siraj. Deserving in so many ways but even more so because of what he’s been through the last few months. His father would be so proud. And that big beaming smile from Thakur. You’d get emotional no matter who you were supporting! #AUSvsIND
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) January 18, 2021
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