Speaking while appearing on Boria Majumdar's show Backstage with Boria, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar praised team India's Mohammed Siraj, saying that the 27-year-old introduced "something new" every time he played.
Siraj is currently an important player of the injury-ravaged Team India. He is often praised for successfully helping the team defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia. Tendulkar insisted that Siraj is a fast learner.
He was chosen as part of India's Test squad for the South Africa tour following his displays in the New Zealand series at home. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) also retained the player ahead of the mega auction for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.
"When he played last year in Australia when he made his debut in Melbourne, it never appeared like he was playing his first match," Tendulkar said. "That was the maturity he showed. He builds up his spells so beautifully and thereon, he has not looked back. Every time I see him, there is something new that he introduces."
Siraj's last year's debut in Australia was full of drama. While he was spending days behind a locked hotel door due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols in the country, his father passed away back home in Hyderabad.
"There is a spring in his legs and that is what I like to see," Tendulkar continued. "His run-up, you can see he's full of energy. He's one of those bowlers, when you look at him, you can't figure out whether it's the first over of the day or the last over of the day because he is coming at you all the time, and that is what I like. He's a proper fast bowler and his body language is so positive. That's what I like."
Siraj's has reacted to the praise. Replying to a post shared on Twitter by Majumdar, Siraj said: "Thank you @sachin_rt sir for this. It is a huge motivation for me coming from you .. I will always do my best for my country .stay well sir."
Fater his debut, Siraj played 10 Test matches for India. The pacer made his T20I maiden appearance in November against New Zealand after the 2021 World Cup. He produced 50 wickets from 50 IPL matches throughout his T20 career.
Siraj's Virat Kohli and Rahul Dravid-led Indian cricket team landed in Johannesburg last week for the team's upcoming 3-match series in Centurion, starting December 26 in a bid to win their first Test series in South Africa.
Team India arrived on December 16 while the pandemic was worsening all around the world with the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Additionally, the African nation was facing its fourth wave of COVID-19 mass infections.
Cricket South Africa announced Monday that team India's tour to the rainbow country would be played without spectators due to the current situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in the nation.
The visitors will face South Africa during the three Tests which will be held in Centurion, Johannesburg, and Cape Town. Team India is missing miss their newly-appointed vice-captain Rohit Sharma who has to stay home due to a hamstring injury. India is also without two premier left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel who also have to stay home due to injuries.