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Mohammed Siraj’s Golden Medal: Perseverance Wins India’s Impact Fielder Award
By CricShots - Dec 15, 2023 1:53 pm
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The recent T20I series between India and South Africa wasn’t just a battle of bat and ball; it was a showcase of exceptional fielding, with India’s commitment to this aspect shining through. Inspired by the success of the Fielding Medal concept at the 2023 World Cup, the Indian team implemented a revamped version of the series, aptly titled the “Impact Fielder of the Series.”

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj with the golden medal

This shift in recognition moved beyond isolated moments of brilliance, instead celebrating consistent alertness and game-changing impact throughout the series. After witnessing several impressive displays, fielding coach T Dilip shortlisted three players – Rinku Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Mohammed Siraj – for their outstanding contributions. In the end, it was Siraj’s dedication and game-altering interventions that earned him the coveted medal.

“We often talk about making a difference in the field, not just in one match, but throughout the series,” T Dilip shared, highlighting Siraj’s unwavering commitment. “His perseverance at the World Cup and his continued efforts after every over, diving and throwing the ball back, are truly inspiring. Today he made a difference with his direct hit, and yesterday, with his boundary line awareness catch. The winner would be none other than Mohammed Siraj.”

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Siraj’s defining moment arrived in the second T20I in Johannesburg. His brilliance was on full display when he dismissed opener Reeza Hendricks for a mere 8 runs. This crucial catch, early in the fourth over, triggered a South African collapse, eventually limiting them to a paltry 95 in response to India’s formidable 201/7.

  

With the series ending in a 1-1 draw, Siraj’s impact remained undeniable, earning him the prestigious “Impact Fielder of the Series” title. His infectious joy was palpable as he received the medal from Dilip, playfully attempting to bite it before sharing a heartfelt embrace with his coach.

“Should I say something?” Mohammed Siraj asked, visibly excited. “This is not just a medal. I was waiting for this since the World Cup, and I have finally got it! The lesson to take away from here is – never give up!”

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Siraj’s journey to this moment is one of unwavering dedication and a testament to the power of consistent effort. In a series filled with thrilling moments, it’s his fielding prowess that rightfully takes center stage, inspiring a renewed focus on this crucial aspect of the game.