These days there is a new term doing the rounds in the cricket circuit: sarfarazek, it doesn’t come off easily bradmanesque does, but will take Sarfaraz Khan. After all, his job, as his father Naushad Khan put it, is “to keep scoring runs, for any team, all the time”. Suffice to say, since his second arrival, he has been doing it better than most other guys in first-class cricket.
The ‘A’ tour of Bangladesh didn’t go well for him, but Sarfaraz has since scored three hundreds in seven Ranji Trophy innings. 928 runs in nine innings
and on 154.66 982 runs in nine innings
at 122.75 in the last two Ranji seasons. In January 2020, had seven centuries including a triple century against Uttar Pradesh. The latest big innings, a 155-ball 125, came yesterday in Delhi in a Mumbai batting effort that was the next best score. Prithvi Shaw had 40, and the team’s total was just 293.
first grade average 80.47 in 36 matches
(before the latest century) was always going to bring Don Bradman into the limelight, and it did after the game on Tuesday. “It makes me happy to have been close to him [Bradman’s] record over the last three seasons,” he said. “It won’t always be the same, but I’m happy to have him around now.” For the record, while Bradman averaged 99.94 in Tests, his first-class average was marginally lower, on 95.14.
With numbers like these, it is understandable that there is a lot of competition to give him a chance at the Test level. Lately, whenever an Indian Test squad has been announced, and he hasn’t made it, eyebrows have been raised. When the team was announced for the first two Tests against Australia on January 13, the general perception was that what else Sarfaraz needs to do? It crossed his mind as well.
“my father came [to Delhi] a few days back, and I trained with him for two days in Ghaziabad [near Delhi] before the game. he knew i was upset [at not being selected]’ Sarfaraz said, ‘So he said,’ Our job is to keep scoring runs, for any team, all the time. Since I was a kid, whenever I’m a little confused, or things aren’t right, that’s what he does, he motivates me and gives me confidence, and prepares me mentally.”
Sarfaraz’s fitness could be a reason for his frequent omission from the Test team. At the same time, it is also true that although he has monster numbers in Ranji Trophy and first-class cricket in general, he has not always shone when given the opportunity at India A level. So far, Sarfaraz has scored only 205 runs in six ‘A’ matches at an average of 34.16. Just before the start of the Ranji season, he scored 21 and 0 in his two innings on the tour of Bangladesh.
When asked about the ‘A’ number, he said, ‘A person cannot be successful all the time.’ “When I played my first match for India A, I scored 71 not out [in Bloemfontein], The rest of the players got out, otherwise I could have scored a century. But yes, I got out cheaply a few times. Then in the series against New Zealand A, I got out early once and scored 60 in the second innings.
“There have been times when lower-order batsmen got out early, and I didn’t get the opportunity to score much. I will keep trying to improve my numbers for India A as well.”
Regarding his fitness, Sarfaraz said, “Delhi Capitals in December last year. [his IPL team] Had a 14-day fitness camp, so their players are ready for the season. So I have been working on it since then, working on making sure that my fitness is up to par. Keeping in mind the next IPL, the focus of the Delhi Capitals team is on the fitness of the players, especially me.”