Mohammad Siraj: I am excited to play in Ranji Trophy

Siraj is richer in experience after bowling in windy conditions in New Zealand.

Siraj said that he owes a lot to India bowling coach Bharat Arun (who had a stint with the Hyderabad Ranji squad when Siraj picked up 41 wickets in a season).   -  Sudhakara Jain

Fresh from his experience of bowling in the windy conditions in New Zealand, which were favourable for swing bowling, pace bowler Mohd. Siraj is now waiting for the big opportunity of playing for India in ODIs and Tests.

“That is why I am glad to be back in the Hyderabad team for the remaining Ranji matches starting with the one against Bengal (at the Uppal Stadium here) from December 14.

"This should be a perfect platform again for me to be in the news for the right reasons,” said Siraj in an exclusive chat with Sportstar after a long bowling session on Tuesday.

“It is my dream to help Hyderabad qualify for the knock-out stage. And, honestly, I am excited to play in Ranji Trophy as it is this championship — my 41 wickets two seasons ago — that gave me national recognition,” he said.

Nothing different

“I didn’t try anything new in New Zealand where I picked up seven wickets from three matches, including a four-wicket haul. In fact, bowling in those conditions was a huge challenge. Definitely, I am richer by that experience,” said Siraj, who has played three T20Is.

“I just want to keep things simple as that is how I have been approaching my task of bowling to different sides at different levels,” he added.

“My strength is my ability to bring one back into the batsman. I continue to work on that even while trying to have the surprise element,” said Siraj.

“In fact, when I was in the Test squad (for the series against West Indies at home), I did engage myself in long chats with the likes of Ishant (Sharma), Umesh (Yadav) to pick up a few things which should help me become a better bowler,” said the spirited fast bowler.

He also said that he owes a lot to India bowling coach Bharat Arun (who had a stint with the Hyderabad Ranji squad when Siraj picked up 41 wickets in a season).

“Pressure of expectation will be there now, but I am no more nervous. I am more mature, confident and ready for bigger challenges,” he concluded.