Mohammed Siraj was the pick of the Indian bowlers during the team’s historic triumph at the Lord’s Cricket Ground during the second Test against England, which the team won by 151 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series. With a four-wicket haul in each innings (4/94 and 4/32) of the Test, Siraj came painfully close to getting his name marked on the famed Lord’s honours board, however, a wicket short meant he could not achieve the feat on his maiden appearance at the venue.
That, however, did not mean that Siraj did not grab attention with his bowling performance and celebration antics. The fiery pacer has been shushing the batters with his ‘finger on the lips’ celebration after dismissing them ever since the first Test of the series. While many interpreted Siraj’s actions targeted towards those he dismissed, he revealed that it is rather meant for his detractors.
“This story (celebration) is for the haters (critics) because they used to say a lot of things about me like he cannot do this and cannot do that. So, I will only let my ball do the talking and hence this is my new style of celebration,” Siraj said at the virtual post-day press conference after the third day’s play of the second Test
The celebration has already become iconic and Siraj’s Hyderabad neighbours took it a notch higher, as they erected a giant garlanded cut-out of the 27-year-old in the coloured jersey, striking the pose.
Siraj is a Superstar, Miyan getting all the love from the cricket fans. pic.twitter.com/aKG9l00181
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) August 19, 2021
India leads 1-0
Meanwhile, the teams will now meet at Headingley for the third fixture of the five-match affair. After the first Test ended in a draw owing to persistent rain on the final day in Nottingham, with India needing just 157 runs with nine wickets in hands, they ensured to not let go of any opportunity at Lord’s.
A “super proud” Virat Kohli lauded his team’s effort: “Super proud of the whole team, the way we stuck to our plans, being put in our performance with the bat was outstanding. Pitch didn’t offer much on first three days. But the way we played in the second innings, under pressure, from Jasprit and Shami was outstanding. We thought with 60 overs to go we could have a crack, and they were outstanding. A bit of tension on the field really motivated us to finish the game”