India’s Mohammed Siraj did not go home in November when his father died, deciding instead to stay in Australia and try to fulfill his dad’s dream.
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.
He snared his maiden five-wicket haul on Monday, helping to dismiss Australia for 294 late on the penultimate day of the fourth and final test, leaving India a target of 328 to win. “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.”