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'My mother motivated me to feel strong' - Siraj on Gabba five-wicket haul
India News

'My mother motivated me to feel strong' - Siraj on Gabba five-wicket haul

Mohammed Siraj has revealed a phone call with his mother spurred him on to grab his maiden five-wicket haul against Australia on the fourth day of the final Test in Adelaide.

Just in his third Test, Siraj was handed the responsibility of spearheading the team's fast bowling attack and ably performed his duties to increase the likelihood of a draw for India.

The four-match series is currently poised at 1-1 with India requiring a stalemate in the Gabba contest to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Siraj, who braved through the tragic loss of his father on tour, reflected on the telephonic exchange with his mother that helped him become "mentally strong" in the tough circumstances.

"I am very thankful that I got five wickets. It was a very tough situation for me because I lost my dad recently," said Siraj.

"I called up home and I felt strong after talking to them and to my mother. She motivated me to feel strong.

"So I was mentally strong and my focus was to make sure my dad's dream comes true."

Siraj rose from humble beginnings to fulfill his father's dream of representing India on the international stage. His father, an auto rickshaw driver from Hyderabad, died on November 20 whilst the Indian team was engaged in preparations for the tour.

But Siraj stayed with the team and missed his father's funeral with his resilient gesture garnering praise from fellow teammates and the coaching staff.

Siraj combined with pacer Shardul Thakur to bundle out Australia for 294, setting the injury-plagued Indian team a daunting task of chasing 328 for an improbable win.

"Our batsmen are good, they are prepared for [Tuesday]. We will only know tomorrow how it goes," he said.

"Our only motive is to win the series. Despite so many injuries, the way the team fought in the first innings is a matter of pride."