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‘Khali bouncer hi aata hain tujhe’ – Mohammed Siraj remembers irritating KL Rahul during net bowling days

KL Rahul and Mohammed Siraj. (Photo Source: Twitter and Oaktree Sports/YouTube)

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj has been a revelation for the Indian team since his involvement in India’s memorable tour of Australia in 2020-21. The 29-year-old pacer from Hyderabad narrated an unheard story involving star Indian opener KL Rahul during his early days.

Mohammed Siraj, who is currently leading the lines for the Indian team across formats, had a very humble beginning. The RCB pacer revealed a story about his early days when he was used as a net bowler after performing well with the U-23 team. 

He remembered a story involving Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul, who was representing the Bangalore-based outfit at the time. Apparently, the stylish Indian batter lashed out at Siraj for bowling a series of bouncers, asking the pacer if he knew anything else apart from bowling short deliveries in the nets.

“I had performed with the Under-23 team. I had played one match in the Ranji Trophy. I had taken a wicket but then I was dropped for the next two matches and I was out of the team. Next year it was RCB vs Sunrisers (Hyderabad), and I was a net bowler then. I bowled bouncer after bouncer to KL Rahul, and he got angry. He told me ‘khali bouncer hi aata hain tujhe’ (do you only know how to bowl bouncers). I said Bhaiya I know other stuff too,” Siraj revealed in a chat with Gaurav Kapoor in his show Breakfast With Champions.

Arun sir came and picked me and I was the highest wicket-taker that year: Siraj

The easily excitable Indian pacer also revealed the impact of former Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun on his career. It was Bharat who fought for Siraj’s place in the Hyderabad side for the Ranji Trophy. His trust in the young pacer paid dividends as the right-arm pacer ended up being the highest wicket-taker that year.

“Next year Arun sir became the coach of Hyderabad for the Ranji Trophy. The selectors were not selecting me for the Ranji Trophy. So Arun sir said, ‘I want this boy in the team. If you listen then only I will join the association, otherwise not. So Arun sir came and picked me and I was the highest wicket-taker that year,” Siraj further revealed.

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