Siraj, an inspiration for young Hyderabadi cricketers: Abid Ali

Chicago: Till recently, no one knew the name of Hyderabad’s fast bowler Mohammed Siraj.  However, he did a splendid job in his debut test career against Australia.  Like Mohammed Siraj, another Hyderabadi fast bowler Abid Ali played his first test series in Adelaide Australia 50 years ago and his fabulous feat of taking six wickets by giving only 55 runs remains one of his best records till this date.  His deadly spell sent famous opening Australian batsmen Bob Simpsons and Bill Lawry to pavilion.

Hyderabad has a unique connection with Test series in Australia.  M L Jaisimha started his test career in 1966-67 by playing in Brisbane.  Fast bowler Abid Ali and off spinner Shiv Lal too debuted in Australia.  Similarly, Azharuddin’s test century in Adelaide, left arm spinner Venkatapati Raju’s fine bowling, VVS Laxman’s exhilarating innings in Sydney and Adelaide and now Mohammed Siraj’s  fine bowling in Brisbane – all these great feats were done in Australia.

Expressing his views, Abid Ali said he is happy with the excellent bowling performance of Hyderabadi Fast Bowler Mohammed Siraj.  “I am delighted with Siraj’s performance which touched my heart.  He is going to be an inspiration for the young budding crickets in Hyderabad,” said Abid Ali, the 79 years old bowling legend from Hyderabad, speaking to Media from his home in California.

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“There is a unique feeling of getting fifer in Australia.  I took six wickets in Adelaide. Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was the captain of the Indian team.  He introduced me to England’s fast bowler Frank Tyson who was very impressed with my deadly spell. Pataudi asked me who he was and my answer in negative brought smiles on the faces of those present there.”

Abid Ali said that the Indian team’s fast bowlers are writing history in England, Australia, New Zealand and S. Africa by their excellent performances.  “There was a time when we used to rely on spinners on those fast bowling wickets.  The current bowlers are doing better on those fast wickets abroad,” Ali said.

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