Mohammed Siraj did not go home in November when his father died, deciding instead to stay in Australia and try to fulfil his dad’s dream.
After his father, Mohammed Ghouse, died on November 20, the pacer’s mother and India captain Virat Kohli urged him to stay on in Australia rather than head home to grieve with his family, despite having no assurances he would feature in the series. he could not fly back home without sacrificing his shot at making his Test debut. However, he chose to stay on with the team to fulfil his father’s dream. Siraj then had to deal with racial slurs from the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground, not on one but two occasions
In a matter of weeks, the 26-year-old has been elevated from a back-up bowler – picked for the tour as cover following some injuries to veteran pacemen – to leading India’s injury-depleted attack in the series-deciding test match at the Gabba in Brisbane.
“If he was alive, he would’ve been so happy,” Siraj said. “But I had his blessings and that’s why I took five wickets today. I’m speechless today, about this performance.” Siraj’s role in the victory was huge as the Hyderabad pacer finished the series as India’s highest wicket-taker.
If, as is sure, there comes to you guidance from Me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.