Mumbai batsman Sarfaraz Khan received his maiden call-up to the Indian Test squad on Monday, joining the team for the second Test against England. This development comes after injuries ruled out KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja. Sarfaraz, known for his unorthodox strokeplay and proficiency against spinners, is now in contention for a Test debut, competing with Rajat Patidar for a spot in the playing XI.
Despite consistently performing well in domestic competitions, Sarfaraz had been waiting for a national call-up. With Virat Kohli also absent for the first two Tests due to personal reasons, the competition for spots in the middle order has intensified. Aakash Chopra, former India opener, expressed his preference for Sarfaraz, emphasizing his unique playing style and effectiveness against spin bowling.
“Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar are now with the Test squad. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Virat Kohli are still not there. India will now have to play either Rajat Patidar or Sarfaraz. You may pick Sarfaraz because he plays in an unorthodox fashion and is a very good player of spin,” said Aakash Chopra on his YouTube channel.
KL Rahul’s recurring fitness issues have been a concern for his career. The right-handed batsman complained of pain in his right quadriceps, adding to his history of injuries. Despite displaying confidence in his batting during the first Test, Rahul’s absence creates a void in the team, especially in terms of players adept at playing the sweep shot.
“This has been the biggest problem in KL Rahul’s career. Injuries or illnesses have come at the wrong time, and they have come many times. The way he played in the first innings, and to be fair, he was batting assuredly in the second innings as well,” commented Aakash Chopra.
With the second Test approaching, the decision between Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar will be crucial, and it remains to be seen who gets the nod for a spot in the playing XI.