Mohammed Siraj was in tears when the national anthem was being played ahead of the start of the opening day’s play at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The fast bowler who made his Test debut in the second match of the series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, tore up while singing the national anthem moments before the start of play on Thursday. Tears came rolling down Siraj’s eyes and it did not stop until the end of the anthem.
The 26-year-old fast bowler had lost his father late last year but chose to stay with the team in Australia to play in the Tests. An injury to Mohammed Shami during the first Test in Adelaide opened the doors for Siraj in the second, where he returned 2 for 40 and 3 for 37.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 6, 2021
“It was my (late) father’s dream that Siraj should represent India in Tests … he always wanted to see him (Siraj) in blue and white jersey to represent the nation, so our dream got fulfilled today,” Mohammed Ismail, Siraj’s brother had told PTI from Hyderabad after the fast bowler had made his debut last month.
After Australia won the toss and opted to bat, An inspired Siraj led India’s attack on the morning of the third Test when he had the dangerous David Warner out caught at first slip where Cheteshwar Pujara held on to the catch. Warner, who for the first time in 25 home innings, over four years, was dismissed for a score less than 10.
Getting Warner early is a huge positive for India, and even though the Australia opener is far from being 100 percent, the SCG is a ground where Warner has put up scores of 111*, 45, 56, 55, 113, 122*, 4 and 111.
After just seven overs of play, rain stopped play, forcing an early Lunch to be taken with Australia on 21 for 1 on Thursday (January 7).
Warner and debutant Will Pucovski formed a new opening pair after Joe Burns and Travis Head were dropped as Australia opted to bat. While Warner looked aggressive from the start, getting the scoreboard ticking right away, Pucovski took his time to settle in, even as India resorted to the short balls very early in the innings.
Pucovski made his Test debut after being in line for it ahead of the first Test before a concussion ruled him out of the first two games.