Hyderabad: Life has come full circle for Indian cricketer Mohammed Siraj after his tour down under.

From a shy Hyderabadi lad to a celebrity, Siraj has come a long way to become a famous cricketer in a short span of time.

Despite his father's demise, Siraj decided to stay back in Australia to fulfill his dad's wish. Siraj battled against all odds and came out triumphant.

On the fourth day of the test against Australia at Gabba, Siraj took 5 wickets. Behind the splendid performance lies the sadness of a son who could not attend his father's funeral.

In an interview, he disclosed how difficult it was for him to cope with depression during the game, but he didn't let the grief pull him down.

A call from his mother gave him the confidence to perform to the best of his ability and make his father happy in heaven.

"I was mentally disturbed after my father's death, but one call from family gave me strength. My mother asked me to fulfill my father's dream. And I worked towards it. My finances played an integral role in my struggle," he said.

In fact, when he was racially abused, he became more determined to perform better. "Australian crowd started abusing me. But it made me mentally strong. It did not affect my performance. My job was to inform my captain that I was being abused and I did it," he said

Siraj said umpires told them that he can walk off the field and leave the game. "Rahane Bhai told the umpire that we won't leave, we respect the game," he said

During his Australia tour, he played three test matches and took 13 wickets. MCG test against Australia was Siraj's debut.

Since Mohammed Shami was injured, Siraj was given the test cap. And he did not disappoint the selectors. He proved that he could be as good as any bowler in the Indian team.

After 32 years, the Indian team won against Australia by 3 wickets against all odds to take the series 2-1.

Madhu Sharma

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