'Never thought I will score a triple century in Ranji Trophy,' says Sarfaraz Khan after registering incredible fightback (Exclusive)
- Sarfaraz Khan remained unbeaten on 301 for Mumbai
Mumbai’s Sarfaraz Khan brought up his first-ever triple century in First-Class cricket to lead Mumbai's fightback against Uttar Pradesh in their Group B game on Wednesday. Although the match ended in a draw, most of the limelight centred around Sarfaraz, as he remained unbeaten on 301 from 391 deliveries during which he hit 30 fours and eight sixes.
His unbeaten 301 is now the second-highest score in First-Class cricket while batting at number six. Karun Nair leads the list with 328 runs in the 2014/15 Ranji Trophy final. Before Sarfaraz, the last triple centurion from Mumbai was Rohit Sharma.
The 22-year-old caught up with Sportskeeda for a quick chat after his marathon innings. Here are a few excerpts.
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How was the feeling after scoring a three-digit knock?
I never thought I will score a triple century in the Ranji Trophy someday. It is a very great feeling of course. I think it is because of the hard work of my mom and dad and also because of the backing I have got from the Mumbai Cricket Association.
How has the journey been from a swashbuckling white ball batsman to a proper red ball cricketer?
I feel I play better red-ball cricket than white-ball cricket. I practice in a way that I do well in both. My dad makes me practice facing the swing ball. To be honest, so far in my career I didn't get enough chances in four-day games to prove myself. This year i got chances and proved myself. I've been performing consistently well. I got a 200 in a U-23 game - 40 in first innings and 100 in the second. Then in the Ranji Trophy against Karnataka I got an unbeaten 71 in the second innings. So I feel I'm doing really well.
There have been a lot of talks about your fitness, have you changed your regime in recent times?
I'm trying my best to improve my fitness. And I think the results are visible also. For the triple century I batted for four days. I fielded 600 runs and then chased down another 600 runs so I am doing well I believe. I have to improve more but I am doing better than before.
On which batting position are you the most comfortable?
I've never asked my team for a batting number and I'm pretty much okay with any position to bat on. Actually in red ball if you see even if you play down the order the new ball will come in some time. In white-ball usually everyone assigns the finishers role to me because they feel I'm a street smart cricketer. I've finished quite a few matches in my life. But I am flexible anywhere in the batting order.
Tell us about your 360 degree game. You have the scoop and reverse scoop in your repertoire.
I used to practise specifically for these kind of shots. From the time I created a world record in a school game till today, I've never left the ground. A lot of ups and downs came in my career but I didn't leave the game. Today whatever I am is because of Allah and my parents.
This season, Mumbai has not performed as well as is expected from them every season. In order to qualify for the knockouts you need to win all the next three games. What went wrong this year?
I don't think the team has done anything wrong. Winning or losing is a part and parcel of the game. Mumbai is doing really well. You see we chased down 625 today. Then previously against Chennai we scored 500 runs and won. A few games went out of the hand but I still believe we performed well.
What made you return to Mumbai after three seasons with Uttar Pradesh?
Well, I love my Mumbai and started longing to go back. That’s where I began my career and it is home to me. I feel more comfortable here. I would like to thank every member of the Mumbai Cricket Association for welcoming me back. They all know me well. I've been playing for Mumbai since a very young age. I've won many trophies here in under 14, under 16 and under 19. So it's good to be back.
The IPL is two months away. Dreading any particular bowlers?
Not really thinking about this. IPL is full of quality international bowlers. Each is as good as the other. I concentrate more on the ball than on the bowler. I try to think that every delivery is the same and then I just go for it.
Published 22 Jan 2020, 23:41 IST