Love of the game and a hunger to break into the Indian cricket team has forced fast bowler Mohammed Siraj to sacrifice his favorite dish biryani. “I have stopped eating biryani. It has become a cheat meal for me now. It’s impossible to stay off it completely, but to be frank I have controlled my indulgences. I have also given up on all spicy stuff. To be honest, if you want to represent your country, you have to quit a few things,” Siraj told TOI after Hyderabad team’s net session on Monday.
“I have learnt that I need to stay fit to bowl with pace and skill. I know how important it is to have clarity on what I need to do,” he added.
The 25-year-old, who has played one ODI and three T20Is for India, said he’s inspired by the fitness of Virat Kohli and Mohammad Shami. “We all know about the fitness regime of Virat bhai, but the way Shami bhai has made a comeback, it is remarkable. He has become so lean and quick,” he said.
Siraj, who has been a regular member of India ‘A’ squad for a while, believes it is very hard to break into the Indian side because of the level of competition. “I mean look at the competition level. Everyone is performing well. If I want to break into this present side, I have to be more consistent.”
“I am doing well for India ‘A’ and I have to grab the opportunity whenever it comes. This season is going to be very crucial for me. My only aim is to work harder and win more games for Hyderabad in Ranji Trophy,” he said.
Theories abound that Siraj is more effective with the red ball than white. “I don’t believe in such things. I am a bowler and my job is to take wickets. I bowled well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and was the leading wicket-taker for my team in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy,” said Siraj.