Mohammed Siraj – that name will be spoken about a lot in the coming days ahead of Cricket World Cup. There are enough reasons. In the India vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup 2023 final in Colombo on Sunday, the 29-year-old right-arm pacer single-handedly broke the hosts’ resistance with a fiery spell. At the end of the game, Siraj’s figures read – 7-1-21-6. It was only the fourth time that an Indian bowler had taken a six-wicket haul in ODIs. Courtesy Siraj’s bowling, India skittled out Sri Lanka for just 50 – the team’s second-lowest score in ODIs.
India chased down the 51-run target win just 6.1 overs. As India won with 263 balls remaining, this is India’s biggest ODI win for India. This is also the biggest win in an ODI tournament final in terms of balls remaining. And Mohammed Siraj was the chief architect of it.
Here are 10 facts about Mohammed Siraj:
1. Born in 1994 in Hyderabad, Telangana, Mohammed Siraj had humble beginnings. His father was an auto rickshaw driver while his mother was a home-maker. Mohammed Siraj has often acknowledged the role of his father in his cricket journey.
2. Mohammed Siraj first started getting notice from t he tennis ball cricket circle. His friends convinced him to train to become a professional cricketer. He joined the Charminar Cricket Club and played in the HCA League.
3. Mohammed Siraj made some rapid progress. He made his first-class debut for Hyderabad on November 15, 2015, under the coaching of Karthik Udupa in the 2015–16 Ranji Trophy tournament. He made his T20 debut on January 2, 2016 in the 2015–16 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament. During the 2016–17 Ranji Trophy season, Siraj picked 41 wickets at an average of 18.92 – the highest that season for Hyderabad.
4. His big break came in February, 2017, when he was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for that year’s Indian Premier League for a whopping Rs 2.6 crore. Next Year, he was bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he currently plays.
5. In 2017, Siraj was named in India’s T20I squad for their series against New Zealand. He made his debut for India against New Zealand on November 4, 2017, taking the wicket of Kane Williamson.
Siraj has so far played 21 Tests (59 wickets), 29 ODIs (53 wickets) and 8 T20Is (11 wickets).
6. Siraj has ben a no. 1 ranked bowled in the past. On January 21, 2023 Siraj became No. 1 ODI Bowler in ICC Rankings. Currently, he is ranked 9th in ODIs.
7. Mohammed Siraj Siraj is a great Cristiano Ronaldo fan. His celebration after taking a wicket is similar to what Ronaldo does after scoring a goal.
8. With his 6/21 against Sri Lanka, the pacer became only the fourth bowler in ODI history to take four wickets in an over, and he matched former Lankan pacer Chaminda Vaas as the fastest to a five-wicket haul in one-dayers – in just 16 deliveries.
9. Siraj is the second bowler in the Asia Cup 50-over format to take a 6-wicket haul after Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis bagged the figure of 6/13 against India in 2008.
10. Mohammed Siraj, who is also known as ‘Miyan Magic’ to his fans, won hearts at the R Premadasa stadium after the Asia Cup final match as he dedicated the ‘Player of the Final’ cash prize to the ground staff.
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