Mohammed Siraj has turned himself into a valuable member of Team India and IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore with strings of good performances in the recent past. The pacer gave an outstanding performance in his debut for Team India while a depleted but enthusiastic young team tamed the Australian at their den GABBA in three decades.
He carried his form in the England series too followed by a strong IPL 2021 where RCB became table-toppers until the tournament was put on hold over players testing positive inside the bio-secure bubble.
Siraj, who is now taking some time off with his family at this hour of country's struggle with the pandemic, revealed his recent success is owed to Indian skipper Virat Kohli who backed him through thick and thin,
"He (Virat) has supported me through thick and thin. He has always been there for me and in all circumstances. I still remember how I was crying in the hotel room. Virat bhaiya came into my room and hugged me tightly and said - 'I am with you, don't worry.'," Siraj recalled during an interview with Times of India.
"Those words encouraged me a lot. He (Virat) played just one Test on the tour but his messages and calls motivated me. And that's why I could perform. In fact, I didn't have a good season with RCB in the past two years. But he (Virat) was always there to support me. He has backed me a lot," the 27-year-old from Hyderabad further said.
He further added that Kohli backed him as his strike bowler all the time.
"Virat bhaiya always says - 'tere paas ability hai, tu kar sakta hai, tere paas ability hai kisi bhi wicket pe khelne ka, tu kisi bhi batsman ko out kar sakta hai' (You have the ability, the ability play on any wicket and get rid of any batsman)," Siraj said.