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Sarfaraz Khan opens up on disappointment of being let go by RCB, his fitness and more

  • Khan spoke about how a candid conversation with Virat Kohli made him realize that he needs to significantly improve his fitness levels.
Zaid K
Modified 27 Jan 2020, 16:01 IST

Sarfaraz Khan smashed an amazing triple ton against Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy
Sarfaraz Khan smashed an amazing triple ton against Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy

In a freewheeling chat with ESPNCricinfo, Mumbai batsman Sarfaraz Khan spoke candidly on a variety of topics, including the time when he was let go by Royal Challengers Bangalore, how Virat Kohli encouraged him to improve his fitness, and the consequent changes he’d made in his lifestyle to achieve those levels of fitness.

Although only 22, it seems as though Sarfaraz has been around for a while – that’s how eventful his career has been so far. Deemed a prodigious talent in the Mumbai cricket circles courtesy his brilliant performances at school at U-19 level.

An IPL contract came calling and Sarfaraz found himself in the midst of cricketing giants like Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers. Although, reality hit hard when RCB decided to part ways with Khan.

Kohli admired his natural talent but felt that his fitness levels weren’t up to scratch for him to make a leap to the next level and face the trials and tribulations of modern-day cricket.

Also see – World Test Championship points table

Khan opened up about how he felt after being released by RCB and how it encouraged him to buckle up and get fitter eventually.

“I was dropped at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2016 because of my fitness. Virat Kohli told me straightaway while there were no doubts over my skills, my fitness was not letting me get to the next level. He was very honest with me about where I was,” he said.

After this episode, everybody saw a significantly fitter version of Sarfaraz, who revealed that although he didn’t make huge tweaks to his diet, there was a substantial cut down on the amount of junk food he was consuming, whilst his exercise regime became much more gruelling.

“I knew that is when I had to get fitter. So I started working out, running, doing a lot of cardio. I gave up sweets and tried to improve my eating habits. I won’t say I became obsessed with fitness, but I just made small changes to my diet. If I had two portions of something, I changed it to one portion, and gradually cut down on my intake of junk food,” Khan said.

The right-hander recently joined an elite list of cricketers when he notched up a sensational triple century for Mumbai against former team Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy. With a newfound focus and the drive to be a better version of himself, we can expect Khan to excel and perhaps stake a claim for a place in the national team setup. 

Published 27 Jan 2020, 13:09 IST
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