Sarfaraz Khan elated to debut in front of his father, Naushad Khan
By SMCS - Feb 16, 2024 9:20 am
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Despite missing a well-deserved century on his Test debut, Sarfaraz Khan was happy to score a fifty. He became the 311th cricketer to represent India in red-ball cricket as he made his debut in the third game against England in Rajkot. However, Sarfaraz was drafted into the squad after KL Rahul got injured ahead of the second Test. Although he didn’t play in that match, Virat Kohli’s prolonged absence and Rahul’s injury saw the Mumbai batter make his debut in Rajkot.

Sarfaraz Khan
Sarfaraz Khan witnessed a horrible run-out

“Bahut accha laga (it was amazing), my father was here when I received the cap. It was my dream to play for India in front of him,” Sarfaraz Khan told reporters after Day 1.“My father wasn’t coming to ground initially. But some people requested him and he came to witness this special moment. I feel some burden is off my shoulders now that I haven’t let my father’s efforts go waste.”

However, Sarfaraz Khan scored 62 off 66 balls, including a 48-ball half-century, the joint-second-fastest by an Indian batter on his Test debut. He stitched a 74-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja for the fifth wicket. However, a miscommunication between them ended his stay in the middle as well.

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When asked how he kept his patience, Sarfaraz Khan said: “I was padded for four hours but told myself that I have kept so much patience, time to keep more.”

Meanwhile, former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar praised Sarfaraz Khan’s batting against spin in his maiden Test innings on Day 1 of the third Test against England. Speaking on ESPN Cricinfo at stumps on Day 1, Manjrekar was impressed by his ability to counter the spinners at will.

Sarfaraz Khan
Sarfaraz Khan and Ravindra Jadeja engaged in a terrible mix up

“Exceptional. Just the way he batted was like somebody from the past that’s come to the present with the way he played spin. It was a sight for the sore eyes, his judgment of length and the way he manuveared the good balls when most young batters would just block and build up dot balls. But he was taking the singles , superb against spin and has the backfoot play as well,” said Manjrekar.

“Even when he lofted the spin, it wasn’t pre-planned. He went towards the ball and at the last minute decided to hit the ball in the air so it was more like a chip shot. He looks gifted against spin and is very old-fashioned in the way he plays. Also, watching players like Sarfaraz, Prithvi Shaw, who are from Mumbai roots, gives the impression that they’ve played a million balls in their life,” again shared Manjrekar.

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Sanjay Manjrekar also credited Sarfaraz Khan for overcoming the initial examination against the pace of Mark Wood as well.

“Like how he started as well because that was the real test. Sarfaraz was in the team because there was a lot of spin expected but he had to start off against Mark Wood and a bit of Anderson he had to face yet he didn’t put a foot wrong there. Once that was taken care of, spin was always going to be the easier part because he has played much better spinners than these. And him getting run out was a sad moment today,” concluded Sanjay Manjrekar.