Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Mohammed Siraj earned rich praise from the team's great South African speedster, Dale Steyn, who lauded the youngster's "character" and ability to bounce back as he turned it around himself on return to the playing XI in IPL 2020.
Having gone for plenty in the defeat to Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Sharjah, Siraj was dropped by RCB for their previous fixture versus Rajasthan Royals (RR).
But on comeback against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (October 21), Siraj's outstanding new-ball burst inflicted irrevocable damage on the opposition and helped his team towards their dominating eight-wicket victory.
The pacer returned with astonishing figures of 3/8 in his four overs as RCB never allowed KKR batsmen to get going. The two-time champions finished with just 84/8 in their allotted 20 overs, an extremely modest total which RCB chased down at the cost of only two wickets with more than six overs to spare.
"I thought Siraj to comeback from his last game against Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah when he went for a couple of runs and perform like this shows the character that he is and what kind of class player he is," said Steyn in a video posted by RCB on their official YouTube channel.
"Well done to him and I think everyone struck it together nicely tonight. One of those nights where things go your way."
In conversation with teammate Parthiv Patel, Steyn said he has loved sharing his wealth of knowledge with young guns like Siraj during his time with RCB. But also joked, he "unfortunately" can't take the glory for their exploits.
"I want to take all the glory but I can't unfortunately," he said. "Everyone is actually keen to learn. The youngsters in the batting are learning from the top batsman Virat and ABD."
"Obviously, the same thing happening to the bowlers. They are all speaking to Chris (Morris) and myself. It's nice to share knowledge," Steyn added.