After 2019 season, thought my IPL career was over: Siraj

After 2019 season, thought my IPL career was over Siraj

NEW DELHI: India pacer Mohammed Siraj has revealed that he thought his Indian Premier League (IPL) was over after a poor 2019 campaign with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

In the nine matches Siraj played in 2019 for RCB, he took seven wickets and conceded runs at an economy rate of 9.55. In the game against KKR, Siraj conceded 36 runs in 2.2 overs and he was forced out of the attack after bowling two beamers.

“2019 the performance with RCB was so bad that I thought that is the end of my IPL career. But then I realized that I still have age on my side. So I decided to trust myself a bit and thankfully the RCB management also backed me. I almost thought any franchise in their position would have let go of a bowler after that kind of performance, but they backed me, and then 2020 the game against KKR was a life-changing game for me,” Siraj said on the ‘RCB Podcast’.

“When I bowled those two beamers against KKR, people said ‘quit cricket and go back and drive autos with your father’. There were so many such comments. And people don’t see the struggle behind all this. But I remember when I first got selected how MS Dhoni told me to not listen to everything the people have to say about me. ‘You do well today and they’ll praise you and when you don’t the same people will abuse you. So don’t ever take it seriously.’ And yes, the same people who trolled me incessantly back then say ‘you’re the best bowler bhai’. So, I know. I don’t want anybody’s opinion. I’m the same Siraj I was back then,” he added.

Siraj was called up into the India Test side for the Australia series in 2020-21 after good performances for RCB in the IPL 2020. In the season, Siraj also became the first bowler in the history of the tournament to bowl two maiden overs.

“Virat Kohli told me something I’d never be able to forget. After returning from Australia, he said Miyan, well bowled, what you’ve done in Australia is unbelievable. Nobody will be able to forget what you have done there. Keep at it and keep your focus on fitness and keep putting in the hard work,” said Siraj.

Siraj is one of the three players to be retained by RCB for IPL 2022. The other two players are Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell. The mega auction ahead of IPL 2022 will be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13. (ANI)