Mohammed Siraj justified his selection in the team by scalping two big English wickets within the first hour of the post-tea session on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test match between India and England, being played in Ahmedabad. England were five wickets down with 121 runs on the board at the time of writing this article. 

And amid this bowling ascendency for Siraj & Co. on a rather batting-friendly wicket, what caught the eye of a lot of fans was Mayank Agarwal celebrating Siraj’s first wicket of Joe Root on the field despite the Indian opener not being in the playing XI. The two exchanged low fives, before pointing skywards, in an expression more akin to post-goal celebrations in football.

The substitute joined in the celebrations after Siraj trapped the English skipper plumb in front of the stumps with an incoming delivery. Experts pointed out at the Hyderabad-born pacer’s gameplan to set up Root with deliveries that left the batsman, before getting one to come in and making him play inside the line of the ball. 

However, this is not the first time that the Siraj-Mayank duo has been seen celebrating in this fashion after the fall of a wicket.

They were first seen pointing to the sky in unison on Day 4 of India’s historic win at the Gabba in Brisbane, during the recently concluded Test series that India won 2-1. 

“I dedicated every wicket to my father,” said Siraj after landing in Hyderabad following the gruelling tour Down Under. Having lost his father just before the commencement of the series last year, the debutant Siraj made the tough call to still join the team on the tour. 

He ended up as India’s top wicket-taker in the series despite not being the first-choice for a starting berth in the team. The fast bowler, who represents RCB in the IPL, has become the face of Team India’s increasing bench strength that bolsters their chances irrespective of playing conditions.

“Firstly, my father’s death was very difficult for me and I was quite depressed. But I spoke with my family and they told me to fulfil my father’s dream,” Siraj had said during a press conference.

“My celebration with Mayank Agarwal was a dedication to dad.”

 

Indian skipper Virat Kohli lost the toss on the first morning of the last match of the series, at the Narendra Modi stadium, and was asked to take the field by his Brit counterpart. Team India are leading the series 2-1 and need to avoid a loss here in order to advance to the final of the first ever World Test Championship to be played at Lord’s later this year.