Team India paceman Mohammed Siraj returned to India after an impressive tour of Australia where he claimed 13 wickets and also picked his first fifer in Test cricket. Siraj didn’t go home after landing at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad, he directly visited the graveyard to gave his last respect to late father Mohammed Ghouse.

Siraj’s father died due to lung ailment in Hyderabad on November 20. The paceman was in Australia at that time and didn’t attend the funeral of his father due to the quarantine rules, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After picking his maiden five-wicket haul, Siraj remembered his father and said hope his father could have been there to watch him shine in Indian jersey.

“My dad had wished that his son would play and the entire world would watch him. I hope he could have been there to watch this day. This is because of his blessings that I have got a five-wicket haul in Tests. I am speechless and can’t express my feelings in words,” Siraj said in the post-match presentation.

“It was a tough situation, dad’s demise. I got strength after talking to mom and my focus was to realise dad’s dream. I got mentally strong with their support. I felt that whatever was dad’s desire, I have to fulfil that. It got fulfilled,” he added.

Siraj played a monumental role in India’s historic series win in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In the absence of any senior pacer, Siraj took the responsibility on his shoulders in the final Test at the Gabba and ran through Australia’s batting line-up and claimed a five-wicket haul in the second innings to restrict the Australian team on 294. India chased down the target of 328 runs on the last day to breach Australia’s fortress – The Gabba where they suffered their first-ever defeat in 32 years.

The 26-year-old has been selected in the 18-member squad for the first two Tests against England, which will commence from February 5.