It is every cricketer's dream to represent the country someday. The same dream was carried by the Hyderabad pacer Mohammed Siraj too. The son of an auto-rickshaw driver, Siraj's dream finally came true when he was handed the international cap by Team India coach Ravi Shastri ahead of the second T20I match against New Zealand in Rajkot.
Just after the national anthem, Siraj, got emotional and was seen in tears.
During the toss, India captain Virat Kohli lauded the rookie pacer and said: " Siraj makes his debut in place of Ashish Nehra. He is an upcoming talent in the IPL and is an exciting prospect,".
Siraj had raised many eyebrows when he was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 auction for a whopping Rs 2.6 crore. His base price was Rs. 20 lakh.
Playing for the Hyderabad franchise, the 23-year-old played six matches and claimed 10 wickets.
Siraj also showed some decent performances for India A against South Africa A and New Zealand A recently. He claimed 7 wickets against South Africa A in Pretoria.
During his India A stint, Siraj also got to interact with the legendary Rahul Dravid, who is the coach of the outfit.
"Just like his batting, he is an excellent coach too. He told me one thing -- not to experiment with my bowling style and run-up. He said, bowl as you have been doing and you will improve automatically with time," Siraj had told NDTV.com in a recent interview.
Just like many youngsters admire some senior or legend, Siraj looks up to Australia speedster Mitchell Starc.
"I want to bowl like him. I love the way he intimidates batsmen and takes wicket. He is an asset to the team and I want to be the same for Team India someday," Siraj said.
During the interview, Siraj had also elaborated how IPL helped him financially.
"My father is an auto-rickshaw driver. He has done a lot hard work to make me a cricketer. I didn't want to let his hard work go in vain. Thankfully, I got the IPL call-up. IPL was a turning point. I am pretty good now (financially)," he said.
"I have seen tough times in my life. My father has provided me with everything without any if or but. He wanted me to represent India someday. I am a proud son now," he said.
"I don't let my father drive the auto-rickshaw anymore. I have asked him sit at home, relax and enjoy his life," the proud son said.