Playing his second Test for India, youngster Mohammed Siraj had an emotional moment as the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) resounded with the Indian national anthem before the start of play on Thursday. At the end of play on Day 1, the youngster opened up on the moment when he was almost in tears and said that it was because he missed his father.
The Hyderabad-born speedster's father had passed away recently while Siraj was in Australia for the limited-overs series. Despite being given the option to fly back home, Siraj had chosen to continue to play down under and also went on to make his debut for India in the longest format of the game at the Boxing Day Test.
Addressing the media on stumps of Day 1, Siraj said, "During the national anthem, I missed my dad. It was a very emotional for me. My father wanted to see me play Test cricket, I wish he was here to see it."
Siraj fared well on Day 1 of the crucial Test at Sydney as he bagged the prized wicket of David Warner earning an early breakthrough. The pacer has bowled 14 overs so far with 3 maidens and has given away 46 runs. Winning the toss, Australia opted to bat first and after losing Warner early, debutant Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne teamed up to anchor the innings. The duo stitched a 100 partnership before the debutant fell to Navdeep Saini at 62. Then Steve Smith joined Labuschagne in the middle and the former skipper has looked in sublime form. Australia ended Day 1 at 166/2.
Australia had drawn first blood in the pink-ball Test match at the Adelaide Oval that had ended just inside three days. However, a determined Team India ensured that they have kept the four-match series alive by registering a famous win in the Boxing Day Test match last week. Both teams will be hoping to secure the four-match series by winning the SCG Test.
The Men in Blue have been boosted with the return of the Hitman - Rohit Sharma - who has also been appointed as the Vice-Captain for the remainder of the series replacing Cheteshwar Pujara. Skipper Rahane has confirmed that Sharma will open the innings along with Shubman Gill, who has been included in the side after his decent knock at the MCG. The management has also handed Navdeep Saini his Test debut and the speedster has come in for Umesh Yadav, who has been sent back home after sustaining injury at MCG.
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