Sarfaraz Khan credits Rahul Dravid for his U-19 World Cup exploits
If one had any doubt about who the star attraction was, they would have to look at the on-field action during the final of the recently concluded ICC U-19 World Cup. Sarfaraz Khan was at the center of it all, waving his hands fervently in the dying moments of the summit clash which India subsequently lost.
However, upon returning home to a hero’s welcome, Khan looked back at the positives from what is generally perceived to be a disappointing campaign for the pre-tournament favorites. In a candid chat with DNA, the 18-year old admitted his frustration of the loss and also spoke about the impact of coach Rahul Dravid on his game.
He said,”That is past. There is definitely a little disappointment. Despite doing well till the semifinals, we lost the final. But it is cricket. Some win, some lose. Our focus was to win the World Cup. We had worked for three months but Rahul sir had said, whatever happens, learning from it is important. There was a batting collapse, we did not play well. Eventually, we lost. There is still some disappointment.”
I have to realize my parents’ dream: Sarfaraz
Sarfaraz was quick to assert that it was a learning experience and was enthused about the future. He added, “My aim is to think forward. Whatever happened, happened. My focus is now on the DY Patil T20 and then the IPL. I am thinking how I have to do well and realize my parents' dream.”
Not the one to worry about personal milestones, Khan believed, “I am happy that my team played well. I thought that I couldn't convert them into centuries. I even told Rahul sir but he said that I did well for the team and won them the games which are important. Then I realized, yes, if these are helping my team win, then fine.”
The cherubic youngster revealed that he had aimed to play longer innings during the event. He implied, “Before this World Cup, I used to play only attacking game. I looked to score more runs off fewer balls. But having been with Rahul sir, I realized how important it was to stay at the wicket. He told me to curb my instincts and be cool. I learned a few things like how to stay calm and cool apart from taking every game as a lesson. Whatever you are in life will reflect on the field. So, these things have helped me.”
Khan stated his intent on improving his red-ball cricket. He noted, “I was criticized for not being good with the red ball but Dravid sir told me it was not like that. I have got the technique and shots to play swing and spin with the red ball. That, coming from a Test legend, has given me immense confidence.”
Acknowledging the impact of IPL, Sarfaraz affirmed, “I am excited about IPL. Time has come to swim in the sea from a pond. I now have to fight with the big players and I have all the confidence. I believe I have prayers of many with me and I am confident to do well in the future.”