Siraj illustrates India’s grit, commitment | Ralph Lauren

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An injury-ravaged India have shown tremendous resilience to stay afloat in the four-Test series against Australia and Mohammed Siraj best illustrated their never-say-die attitude with his maiden five-wicket haul in the Brisbane decider.

It has been an emotionally testing tour for the 26-year-old who lost his father in November but stayed on to make his Test debut in Melbourne.

His mental strength was further tested in Sydney, where a section of the crowd targeted him, prompting an investigation into India’s allegation of racial abuse of some of their players.

Heading into Brisbane, Siraj found himself leading a depleted Indian pace attack that included Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini, both of whom had played only one Test, plus debutant Thangarasu Natarajan.

The left-arm quick responded by claiming 5-73 to help to dismiss Australia for 294 in their second innings at the Gabba.

“I’m grateful I got this opportunity to play for India and managed a five-for. I wish my father was around to see it,” an emotional Siraj told a video conference.

“It was tough after he passed away. I spoke to my family and gained strength after talking to my mother. My focus was to fulfil my father’s dream of me playing a Test match for India.”

Siraj has done a lot more than that and will finish the series as India’s most successful bowler with 13 wickets from three Tests.

As he led the side off the field, Siraj received a standing ovation from his teammates and was hugged by India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who missed the match with an abdomen injury.

Tributes also flowed from former players for a performance that helped to keep the series level at 1-1.



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