Debutant Mohammed Siraj had an excellent day with the ball as he ended up taking two wickets on Day 1 of the Boxing Day clash between Australia and India. The Hyderabad pacer took wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green, playing a vital role in India restricting the Aussies to a partly total of 195 at the MCG.
Reacting to his red-ball debut, Siraj said that getting India's Test cap is the biggest achievement of his life. Siraj, who finished the day with figures of 2/40, said that stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane gave him the confidence while Jasprit Bumrah guided him on his Test debut.
"I was feeling really good, getting the Indian Test cap is the biggest achievement of my life, the bowlers really did well, Ajinkya Rahane was giving me the confidence and Jasprit Bumrah was also around me at all times," Siraj told BCCI.TV.
Siraj, last month, had lost his father when he was training in Australia. He would have missed the Melbourne Test had he returned home in Hyderabad. But the 26-year-old had decided to not head back to India.
"I was eager to bowl my first over, I started warming up in the first session but I had to wait for my chance, I was really confident, after the lunch break I was just trying to bowl dot balls and create pressure. I was trying to bowl wide of the stumps, I set Cameron Green up and I set him up for the in-swinger," he added.
The whole Indian bowling unit had an eventful day in Melbourne. Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin also continued his brilliant form in overseas conditions as he ended up taking three wickets including the prized scalp of Steve Smith. Rahane's leadership and field placements also received praise after India bundled out the hosts on a modest total.
In response, India did suffer an early blow in the form of Mayank Agarwal, who was sent back on a duck in the very first over. However, after Agarwal's departure, debutant Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara stuck in the middle as India posted 36/1 at stumps. India currently trail by 159 runs with Gill and Pujara duo in the middle.