India pacer Mohammed Siraj, who made his debut in the Boxing Day Test, is recording brilliant performances to keep his side in the game. On Monday, Siraj scripted his maiden Test fifer on the fourth day of the ongoing fourth and final Test match between India and Australia at the Gabba.
Given it is only his third Test match, netizens are lauding Siraj's efforts. More so, when he is currently leading the Indian pace attack in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah who is benched due to injuries.
A Twitter user even compared Siraj and prime Australia pacer Mitchell Starc who is not having the best time in the ongoing tournament. "Lmao Siraj has more wickets than Starc in this series," the user tweeted.
However, it was Starc's wife and Australian cricketer Alyssa Healy who decided to school the Twitter user. "Why’s it funny?! Reflects Siraj’s ability and reward for effort," she replied to the user.
When posed with another question by a different user, she said: "Actually no. I’m giving credit to a young Indian bowler who’s had an incredible series and should be praised for his efforts!"
Siraj has bowled 134.1 overs, the most by an Indian bowler in the current series which saw the entire frontline attack get benched due to injuries before the fourth Test even began. He has ended up being India's highest wicket-taker in the series with 13 scalps. Add to that, he has manned the outfield energetically.
The right-arm pacer, has had a very emotional tour. He lost his father a few days after he arrived in Australia but couldn't return home to attend his burial due to strict quarantine rules that would have taken a lot of time.
He was then subjected to alleged racial taunts by a section of the crowd in Sydney -- a matter that forced Cricket Australia to launch an investigation and issue an apology.
Despite just two Tests under his belt prior to the Brisbane Test, Siraj was the senior-most of the India bowling attack to take field at The Gabba. India fielded two debutants, Washington Sundar and T Natarajan, while Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini had played just one Test each before.
India, eventually, bundled out Australia for 294 in their second innings, thus setting themselves a target of 328. They reached 4/0 before rain stopped play and subsequently umpires were forced to call for early stumps on Day Four. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill remained unbeaten on 4 and 0, respectively.