Rishabh Pant stole the headlines and limelight of India's historic win over Australia in the fourth and final Test of the series at The Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday (January 19) thanks to an excellent batting display that helped the side chase down a target of 328 in the final day. However, the win would not have been possible without Mohammed Siraj, who took a five-wicket haul in the second innings and led an experienced bowling line-up despite himself having played only two Tests prior to the match at Brisbane. Siraj also had to overcome personal tragedy to even play in the series.
Siraj's father Mohammed Ghaus had passed away before the Test series began. Offered the chance to fly home, Siraj declined and chose to stay back in the bio-bubble.
Now as the Indian cricket team has finally arrived home, one of the first things the 26-year old pacer did was visit the grave of his late father and pay his respect with a prayer.
Speaking on his decision to stay back during the series, Siraj revealed that it wasn't an easy thing to stay back but he felt strong after talking to his mother.
"It was a tough situation, dad’s demise. I got strength after talking to mom and my focus was to realise dad’s dream. I got mentally strong with their support. I felt that whatever was dad’s desire, I have to fulfill that. It got fulfilled," Siraj had said.
Siraj also remembered his late father during the Sydney Test. Before the match began and as the national anthems were blaring out, the cameras picked up images of a teary-eyed Siraj as he sang the anthem.
The videos of the incident went viral and the pacer would later admit that when the anthem began he could not help but remember his late father, whose dream it was to see him one day play for India.
After wrapping up what was a successful tour Down Under, Siraj will now be a part of the Indian team for the first two Tests against England set to begin in February.
India Squad for First Two Tests: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel