The beauty of Siraj is that he has always wanted to be in a battle: Mike Hesson
Mohammed Siraj is establishing himself as a lethal moniker in the echelons of Indian Test cricket. He has been exceptional in the longest format of the game for Team India. He came up as a significant threat against the mighty Australians and ever since then, Mohammed Siraj has not run short of accolades from cricketing luminaries. From producing banana swing to belting those nasty rib-breakers, Siraj is just another ravenous fast bowler who wants to make a name for himself in a league that has produced cricketing greats of the past.
RCB’s Director of Cricket Operations, Mike Hesson has always believed in the fast-bowling threat that Siraj poses to the batters. “If there was one format he was going to do well at the start of his international career, it was probably Test cricket. I think the meeting that Simon (Katich), myself and Virat had initially, where we were talking about players, Virat was really confident about Siraj and had confidence in him at the death. And on different grounds at different times, he felt Siraj had the skillset that would still give him success,” Hesson said.
“For me, Siraj had a good change of pace and a really good skillset for white-ball cricket but he had solid fundamentals behind him. You need your base skills, I think that's where first-class cricket and Test cricket come in. He has bowled a lot of overs, so it showed that he's fit. He had a repeatable action, so I knew what I was going to get day in and day out. And as a coach, that's so important. He didn't need to have his timing right for his action to work on the day and for the ball to come out right. He'd done the work in first-class cricket, he's now doing the work in Test cricket," he added.
Speaking about what makes Siraj special, Hesson said, “He's always the guy who wants to bowl. As a captain, you genuinely want to throw the ball to someone who is saying 'give it to me'. He's that type of character. When we took over, the easiest thing was for Siraj to say 'I want to bowl with the new ball and in the middle overs, I'm not so good at the death'. Because he had some tough experiences but he wanted to get better and by doing that, he's made himself hugely valuable to our setup and to other setups as well.”
“The beauty of Siraj is that he has always wanted to be in a battle. He has always wanted the ball in tough times, and not everybody does. Whether it's bowling the long overs in Test cricket or the tough overs in T20 cricket, he's always put his hand up. Those are the guys you want to do well," concluded Hesson.