For me the WTC final is like a World Cup match: Mohammed Siraj
The World Test Championship Final is only two periods of sleep away. The excitement among cricket enthusiasts has already hit its peak. Unlike any other cricket fanatic, India pacer Mohammed Siraj can't keep his excitement at bay. He is eager to be a part of the playing eleven for the WTC final. With plenty of fast bowling options in India's arsenal, it remains to be seen whether Siraj makes the squad for the much-anticipated clash against New Zealand. However, he is prepared to hit the ground running, if given a chance.
“For me, the World Test Championship final is just like a World Cup match. I will treat the WTC Final like that. We have performed so well in the WTC and now this is the final match. I just want to go and give my best if given a chance," Siraj was quoted as saying to Times of India.
After defeating England on home soil, Kane Williamson's side will enter this fixture with a great deal of confidence. Needless to say, the Blackcaps are better prepared. With that series victory, New Zealand climbed to the pole position in the ICC Test team rankings. Several cricket pundits believe that the vital contest will be between the New Zealand batsmen and India bowlers.
Siraj is optimistic that the Indian team will claim the coveted trophy. In terms of bowling resources, he feels India have an advantage over New Zealand. With the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the ranks, India sport a well-rounded bowling attack.
“Our bowling unit is so strong. It's stronger than New Zealand's. Virat bhaiya told me - 'Mian, aise hi perform karte rahoge to bahot aage jaoge" (You will go a long way if you keep performing like this). I am eager to be a part of the playing eleven in the WTC Final. If given an opportunity, I would love to win the final for my team and with it the WTC trophy," Siraj further added.
The 26-year-old was in Australia when he lost his father due to a lung ailment in Hyderabad. BCCI had offered Siraj the option of flying back to India. But, he decided to stay back in Australia to fulfil the dreams of his father. With 13 scalps in just three tests, he finished as India's leading wicket-taker in the Border Gavaskar Trophy. Siraj was undoubtedly one of the main architects of India's historic series victory over Australia earlier this year. The Hyderabad pacer has his eyes focused on the ultimate Test now. He aspires to win the inaugural World Test Championship for his late father.
“The WTC win will be a tribute to my father. I want to win as many trophies as I can to honour him," he concluded.
[Times of India input]