In-form batter Sarfaraz Khan could not find a place in Team India's squad for the first two Tests against Australia. Fellow Mumbai-batter Suryakumar Yadav was preferred ahead of him in the red-ball squad despite the youngster's prolific domestic record.
Sarfaraz's omission has reportedly been put down to his poor returns with the India 'A' side. Since 2019, he has scored 2,289 runs in 22 innings at an average of 134.64 with nine hundreds, five fifties, two double hundreds, and a triple ton. However, the insane numbers were not enough for him to get a maiden call-up with the national side.
Revealing that he could not sleep the whole night upon learning of his omission from the team, Sarfaraz told the Indian Express:
“Everywhere I go, I hear murmurs that he will play for India soon. On social media, I have thousands of messages talking about my exclusion. Sab bolte hain tera time aayega (everyone says your time will come)."
I came from Assam to Delhi the day after the selection, and wasn’t able to sleep the whole night. I kept asking why am I not there? But now after speaking to my father, I’m back to normal. I will never give up practice, I will not go under depression. Don’t worry, I will keep trying.”
He was in contention to make it to the Indian squad for the tour of Bangladesh as well but was snubbed in that instance as well. He has even spoken with the chairman of the selection committee, Chetan Sharma, who is serving his second successive term.
Noting that he needs to keep the belief of playing for India very much alive and let destiny take care of the rest, Sarfaraz said:
“I was down completely. It’s natural for anyone, especially once you have scored so many runs. I’m also human, not a machine. I too have emotions. I spoke to my father and he came to Delhi. I just had a practice session in Delhi with him."
"I have been getting messages and hearing that I should have been there. My father came and said our job is to score runs and he feels a day will come when I will play for India. So we need to keep that belief and let destiny decide the rest."
The upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 also proves to be an excellent avenue for Sarfaraz. With his ability to keep wickets as well, he is primed to play a crucial role in the absence of Rishabh Pant.
"I feel I can play for India in white-ball matches too, no matter what anyone says" - Sarfaraz Khan
Sarfaraz Khan ended his Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign with a hundred against the Railways that helped Mumbai chase down 338 with nine balls to spare. Such performances instilled in him the belief that he could be an all-format player for India.
Dismissing his India A form and fitness concerns behind his omission, Sarfaraz said:
"Why only red ball? I have done well in white-ball cricket also. I was hospitalised during the Vijay Hazare Trophy, but came back and scored hundreds in two games. In Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, I even kept wickets for Mumbai. I feel I can play for India in white-ball matches too, no matter what anyone says."
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy series will begin on February 4 in Nagpur. The Australians will tour India for a total of four Tests and three ODIs.
Will the talented batter be called up to the national side soon? Let us know what you think.
Also Read: "I will concede runs when I bowl at my pace, so let the people say what they want to" - Umran Malik
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