An Open Letter To Mohammad Siraj
Dear Siraj, When India stepped into the new century with a revolution brewing at the far horizon, the two pillars of Indian bowling were Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble. Zaheer Khan was new and was being shown the path by a declining Venkatesh Prasad and an outgoing Javagal Srinath. However, the transition did happen and …
When India stepped into the new century with a revolution brewing at the far horizon, the two pillars of Indian bowling were Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble. Zaheer Khan was new and was being shown the path by a declining Venkatesh Prasad and an outgoing Javagal Srinath.
However, the transition did happen and Zaheer took over the reins successfully. Thanks to some unwavering support from Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. Similarly, India had some major issues in Test bowling at the beginning of 2020 when New Zealand left India humiliated.
When Australia came calling and India’s major superstars were injured and you lost your father just ahead of the tournament, you ignored the advice of your captain and your coach and stayed back for international duty. When the national anthem blared, tears of pride rolled down your eyes. They were moments of goosebumps for every Indian watching the scene.
You pulled off five wickets Down Under in the very opening match of your career and then came back stronger in the last match of the series, helping India to script a remarkable comeback. After being reticent against England with Ashwin doing the lion’s share of the damage, you saved your best for the upcoming series.
Who would have thought that a newcomer would have wreaked so much havoc in the nation for not being selected in the World Test Championship finale? However, you did the impossible!
Then when England came knocking and India felt threatened by the hosts, you stood up and delivered an impeccable showdown at the Mecca of cricket not once but twice. If I simply take the numbers out of the equation, the impact that you had on the game was way too colossal.
It is not always about the massive numbers next to a man but the kind of impact that he creates in a specific situation that makes others understand his importance.
Your humble background has taught you to survive with the bare minimum and that is how you have produced pearls out of thin air that came hurling at the batters in the most intimidating ways.
The way you stayed back to serve the nation even when you lost your most special person tells a thousand words about you, words that can only forge a story beyond the stars.
When you came on in the second innings for that miraculous spell, other than the wickets, you started curling the ball left and right and that was the onset of a catastrophe waiting to consume the last band of English resistance.
Today, when Laxman praised you and the entire nation has been doing so for the last few days, I felt happy. There was a rising sense of pride. Honestly, I am no one related to you but I have been there where you are now. I can so very relate to your struggle.
You didn’t come here in a single day. You didn’t come here taking a stroll in the park. You came here after sacrifices that could have shaped you in some other way. You came here after walking through the blazes.
You have just started your rise. I do not until when this ascendancy will continue but I am a massive fan of yours and take it from me, you are here to stay Siraj. By the way, that curler which claimed Anderson was my personal favourite. Giving him a taste of his own medicine that peach will echo in his ears for ages to come.
I am not that active on Twitter, otherwise, I would have posted that delivery of yours in response to the one of Barmy Army where they mocked our skipper with Anderson doing the rounds. I haven’t heard Indian fans chanting the name of a bowler like the way they do for Kohli and Sachin. However, the journey that you have already taken, I believe you, Siraj, maybe the first.
A crazy fan of yours