Siraj thanks Nehra, reveals his role in selection to Team India

Mohammed Siraj is First Hyderabadi fast bowler to represent India in International T20 Cricket

Hyderabad: Hyderabad’s rising star pacer Mohammed Siraj’s dream finally came true when he got a call from the India selectors that he has been named in the 16-man Virat Kohli-led T20 squad for the series with New Zealand.

Mohammed Siraj created a lot of buzz after the Indian Premier League side Sunrisers Hyderabad paid a whopping Rs. 2.6 crore to have him on board. The Hyderabad youngster then impressed one and all as he took ten wickets from six matches he played in the IPL10.

It is unclear whether he will play in the first Twenty20 against New Zealand at the Feroz Shah Kotla. The excited bowler credited and thanked Ashish Nehra for guiding him as if he is his younger brother.

“I have played with Nehra bhai at Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2017. He has given me a lot of tips during net sessions. The tips helped me improve my game a lot. He never made me feel that he was a player who has played 20 years of cricket. He treated me like a younger brother. He told me how to fool a batsman with variations,” Siraj told NDTV in an interview.

“Ball aise pakad, aur aise daal. Batsmen ke footwork ko dhyaan se dekh aur fir line aur length change kario,” Siraj said while recalling one of the conversations with Nehra.

With Nehra all set for his last international outing in the first T20 match against the Kiwis at his home venue Feroz Shah Kotla, Siraj is hopeful of sharing the same XI with the veteran pacer.

Also Read : Hyderabad pacer Mohammed Siraj included in T20 squad against New Zealand

Son of an auto-rickshaw driver, Siraj, raised many eyebrows when he was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 auction for a whopping Rs 2.6 crore. His base price was Rs. 20 lakh.

Siraj elaborated how IPL has helped him financially. “My father is an auto-rickshaw driver. He has done a lot hard work to make me a cricketer. I didn’t want to let his hard work go in vain. Thankfully, I got the IPL call-up. IPL was a turning point. I am pretty good now (financially),” he said. “I have seen tough times in my life. My father has provided me with everything without any if or but. He wanted me to represent India someday. I am a proud son now.

The –year-old also clarified that he does not allow his father to drive auto-rickshaw anymore and also said that he did not see the India call-up coming up so soon.

“I don’t let my father drive the auto-rickshaw anymore. I have asked him sit at home, relax and enjoy his life,” said Siraj.

Also Read : India aim to make Nehra’s swansong memorable at Kotla

“Honestly, I didn’t expect the call-up this soon. I knew that some time in future I will surely represent the country, but not this early. I can’t tell you how happy I am,” he said and added that his parents were “speechless” as his dream came true. “When I told my parents, they were happy and speechless at the same time. It’s a dream come true for me.”