Mohammed Siraj reveals pep talk: The Indian fast bowler spoke highly about his national and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain.
India and Royal Challengers Bangalore fast bowler Mohammed Siraj has spoken highly of captain Virat Kohli saying that he has “supported him through thick and thin”.
Siraj, 27, had made his white-ball debut for India under Kohli. Other than the national colours, Siraj has also played four seasons of the Indian Premier League under Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore.
In an interview with The Times of India, Siraj particularly opened up on Kohli’s incessant support after he had lost his father to an illness during the tour of Australia last year.
“He [Virat Kohli] has supported me through thick and thin. He has always been there for me and in all circumstances. I still remember how I was crying in the hotel room. Virat bhaiya came into my room and hugged me tightly and said – ‘I am with you, don’t worry’,” Siraj was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
“Those words encouraged me a lot. He played just one Test on the tour but his messages and calls motivated me. And that’s why I could perform. In fact, I didn’t have a good season with RCB in the past two years. But he was always there to support me. He has backed me a lot,” Siraj added.
Mohammed Siraj reveals pep talk by Virat Kohli after CSK vs RCB IPL 2021 match
Siraj, who had made his IPL debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2017, moved to Royal Challengers the next season. In 36 IPL matches for RCB, Siraj has picked 35 wickets at an average of 30.37, an economy rate of 8.69 and a strike rate of 20.97.
Revealing a pep talk which he received from Kohli after RCB lost to Chennai Super Kings by a mammoth 69 runs at the Wankhede Stadium last month, Siraj shared one more incidence of the Indian captain backing him.
“Virat bhaiya always says – ‘tere paas ability hai, tu kar sakta hai, tere paas ability hai kisi bhi wicket pe khelne ka, tu kisi bhi batsman ko out kar sakta hai’ [You have the ability, the ability play on any wicket and get rid of any batsman],” Siraj said.
— Mohammed Siraj (@mdsirajofficial) April 14, 2021
Siraj’s progress and rank in the pecking order can be observed from the fact that he has been selected in India’s squad for the tour of England next month ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.