An unknown quantity before the 2016-17 season, Mohammed Siraj, made a name for himself as he guided Hyderabad to a quarter-final finish in the Ranji Trophy, taking 41 wickets from nine match…
An unknown quantity before the 2016-17 season, Mohammed Siraj, made a name for himself as he guided Hyderabad to a quarter-final finish in the Ranji Trophy, taking 41 wickets from nine matches and finishing as the third leading wicket-taker in the coveted tournament. A late bloomer as per Indian cricketing standards, Siraj took to serious cricket only in 2015.
That effort brought him immense recognition and a place in the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise for the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Despite not being that tall, Siraj’s ability to procure pace and bounce impressed Tom Moody, Coach, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and he played a starring role as the franchise reached the knock-out stage of the competition. Such was the demand for the right-arm fast bowler that he went from a nominal base price of Rupees 20 lakhs INR to a final winning bid of Rupees 2.6 crores INR. Despite playing just six matches, he ended up with 10 wickets, although he was a touch expensive.
The speedster missed out on the Ranji season in 2017-18 and played only one game but he was back for the Vijay Hazare trophy and starred with the ball for Hyderabad. He picked up 23 wickets in 7 games which included 3 5-wicket hauls. The ‘Hyderabad Express’ also nipped out 10 wickets from 5 games in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tourney.
IPL through the years
The right-arm quick caught the eyeballs during the 2017 IPL auctions when Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him for INR 2.6 crore from a base price of 20 lakh. He didn’t feature much as he got only six games, but he impressed by picking up 10 wickets. However, his erratic bowling nature worked against him as he was let go the next season.
Royal Challengers Bangalore trying to form a new team identified Siraj’s talent and went after him in the 2018 auctions. They beat four other franchises to land Siraj at Bangalore for INR 2.6 crore. He did not start the first few games but once picked he became Kohli’s go-to death bowler and ended the season with 11 scalps and thus ensured he was retained for the following edition.