India pacer Mohammed Siraj believes aggression brings the best out of him, saying being aggressive on the ground is the recipe for his success.
Siraj has received a lot of international success since making his Test debut against Australia in 2020.
The Hyderabad pacer has been India's stand-out performer with the ball in the ongoing World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval, picking four wickets in the first innings. "Aggression is very important in my bowling. Test cricket is based on aggression. It's not just about delivering simple ball and walking away without saying anything," Siraj said in a video posted by the ICC.
"When I bowl with aggression, I keep my body engaged. Unlike some other bowlers who bowl here and there with aggression, my bowling is precise.
"The more aggression I put into my game, the more success I achieve. I thoroughly enjoy playing with aggression," added Siraj, who is known for bowling hostile spells.
Just like any cricketer, Siraj considers Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game and rues the fact that his father could not watch him make his Test debut.
Siraj's father Mohammed Ghouse had died just a few weeks before the pacer made an impressive Test debut in Melbourne on December 26, 2020, picking up 5 for 77.
"That year was difficult for me personally because I lost my dad during that time. Afterward, I wasn't sure if I would make my debut or not. However, I played my first match because (Mohammed) Shami bhai was injured. Then I got the opportunity to play in Melbourne," he said.
"At that time I used to think how proud my dad would have been if he was alive because he wanted me to make Test debut for India and play Test cricket. Playing Test cricket is a matter of immense respect and honour." By his own admission, Siraj started playing the game for fun and leisure.
"Initially I used to play a lot of tennis-ball cricket. I never thought that I would become an Indian player. When I used to play tennis-ball cricket, I always used to give my 100 per cent," he said.
"Then gradually I started playing in the league, I held the seasoned ball for the first time. At that time I didn't know about outswing and inswing. Nonetheless, I took five wickets on my debut. From then on, I continued playing consistently and the my confidence grew.
"The idea of playing for India never crossed my mind but I kept enjoying the game. If I had thought playing for India, I wouldn't have been able to achieve it," Siraj said.
"I stuck to my plan and earned the opportunity to wear India cap. I am very proud of myself."
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