India fast bowler Mohammed Siraj got emotional when the national anthem player ahead of day one of the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
Tears rolled down Siraj’s cheek as India’s national anthem played before he received a pat on the back from fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah who was standing next to him.
After the first day’s play at Sydney, Siraj spoke about why he got emotional during the national anthem. He said that he was remembering his father, who died two months ago, and how he would have felt proud seeing him play Test cricket.
Siraj received support on Twitter from former India cricketers Mohammad Kaif and Wasim Jaffer, along with several others including leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who said that his tears showed how it meant to him to play for India.
“I just want certain people to remember this picture. He is Siraj Mohammed and this is what the national anthem means to him,” tweeted Kaif.
Jaffer added: “Even if there’s little or no crowd to cheer you on, no better motivation than playing for India. As a legend once said ‘You don’t play for the crowd, you play for the country’.”
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Siraj made his Test debut in the previous match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and played a key role in India’s emphatic victory to level the four-match series 1-1.
The 26-year-old started well at the SCG too, picking the important wicket of David Warner early to give his team a strong start to the third Test.