Not getting selected for T20 World Cup not the end of it all: Pacer Siraj

Indian pace bowler Mohammed Siraj has said that the recently-concluded Test tour of England was a “great experience” and that he was happy that he could repose the faith of his captain Virat Kohli during the series.

Siraj played a key role in India taking a 1-0 lead in the series, notching eight wickets in the Lord’s Test, which led to the visitors winning the tie by 151 runs.

“The England tour was a great experience by any stretch of imagination. I am glad that I could repose the faith of my captain Virat bhai, head coach Ravi Shastri, the support staff and the entire team,” the 27-year-old, who has so far amassed 30 wickets in the nine Tests, told Sportstar on Thursday.

Siraj though said that he was a bit disappointed at not being selected in the side for the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman in October-November this year.

“Well, selection is not in our hands. It was certainly a dream to play in the T20 World Cup. But, again, that is not the end of it all. I have many more goals — the biggest being to play a lead role in helping the team to win matches,” said Siraj.

“I will take things as they come for I believe in destiny and be content in whatever opportunities I get even as the pursuit for excellence at the highest level continues,” he added.

Siraj said that sharing the ball with the likes of pace stalwarts Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami was a great experience.

“Definitely, bowling in tandem with big names like Shami bhai, Ishant bhai and Jasprit (Bumrah) bhai is a huge learning curve for me. They were so supportive and always came up with invaluable tips to keep improving my bowling,” he said.

The pace bowler added that the team was on a high since winning the Test series in Australia and that confidence rubbed off in the series against England.

“We were confident, though not complacent. This team is on a high after the memorable series win in Australia. It is a team with complete balance in all departments. And, personally, for me it is a joy to be part of such a unit led by such an inspirational leader like Virat bhai,” Siraj said.

He added that a piece of advice from Kohli ahead of the England series helped him during the tour and credited his eight-wicket haul at Lord’s to that.

“‘We know that you are really good with your inswingers. But to keep the batsmen guessing, you should be equally good with the outswingers.’ That’s what I have been working really hard and immensely pleased with the Lord’s spell,” Siraj said.