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Sarfaraz's Staggering Numbers!

February 14, 2024 08:40 IST
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IMAGE: The Mumbai batter is in line to make his debut during India's third Test against England in Rajkot. Photographs: Kind courtesy Sarfaraz Khan/Instagram

The wait has been a long one, but it looks like it's almost over as Sarfaraz Khan gears up for his Test debut.

When India takes on England in the third Test, Sarfaraz is in line to feature in the playing XI. The Mumbai batter has been knocking on the doors for a very long time now. And K L Rahul's injury opened up the doors for his maiden India call-up.

As he gears up for his debut in Test whites, let's take a look at his journey so far.

Over the years, Sarfaraz has become a household name with his consistent show on the domestic circuit. But despite his staggering numbers his wait for an India call-up has been a long and arduous one -- and one marked with controversy.

Whenever India announced its squad, the questions deepened furthered -- why no Sarfaraz? Putting rest to all questions, the selectors finally handed the 26 year old his well-deserved call-up.

With a whopping 3,912 runs from 45 first-class matches, Sarfaraz, who had his bags packed for his next Ranji Trophy match, had a change of destination.

On his last assignment, Sarfaraz scored 161 off 160 during India A's win over England Lions. Sarfaraz was adjudged Player of the Match in the unofficial Test which was played from January 24-27.

A constant face on the domestic circuit, Sarfaraz is a player who has been plying his trade on turning tracks and is used to tackling spinners. With his attacking prowess against the spinners, Sarfaraz brings some stability to India's unstable middle-order.

While his ability to take on spin makes him a strong option in the middle-order, his struggles against short-pitched bowling makes him vulnerable.

Batting Stats

First Class: 3,912 runs from 45 matches.

This includes 14 centuries and 11 half-centuries. His highest knock is an unbeaten 301 in first-class cricket. He struck his highest knock against Uttar Pradesh in the 2019-2020 Ranji Tophy season.

His average in first-class cricket is 69.85.

List A: Sarfaraz has scored 629 runs from 37 matches, with a highest knock of 117. This includes two centuries.

His average in List A cricket is 34.94.

T20s: From 96 matches, Sarfaraz has scored 1,187 runs with a highest score of 67.

His average in T20s is 22.41.


First Class Debut

The Mumbai batter made his first-class debut in 2014. Taking on Bengal at the Eden Gardens in a Group A Ranji Trophy match on December 28, Sarfaraz made his debut. But he did not have an ideal start, falling for just 1 off 4 in his first match. He made his debut in a Mumbai side which fielded Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav and Shardul Thakur among others.

List A Debut

Sarfaraz made his List A debut in March 2, 2014 during Mumbai's Vijay Hazare Trophy match. The match was in Rajkot, the same venue where Sarfaraz is in line to don the India whites. In his first game, Sarfaraz was unbeaten on 17 off 11 as Mumbai picked up a five-wicket win over Saurashtra.

T20 Debut:

Sarfaraz made his debut in the shortest format during Mumbai’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match against Saurashtra. Sarfaraz played an unbeaten 36 off 20 in a winning cause.

Sarfaraz has not only been a consistent performer on the domestic circuit, but a record-breaking one too. In the 2019/2020 Ranji season, Sarfaraz was the star performer for Mumbai. Since then, he has averaged 82.46 in first-class cricket.

In the 2019-2020 season, Sarfaraz hammered 928 runs from nine innings with a massive average of 154.66. In that season, the right-handed batter scored three centuries and two half-centuries. His average of 154.66 is the second highest by any batter in a single Ranji season.

In the 2021/2022 season, Sarfaraz once again hammered 982 runs at an average of 122.75. In that season, Sarfaraz, who topped the batting charts, scored four hundreds and two fifties.

Having hammered 900-plus runs in two successive Ranji seasons, Sarfaraz became the first player to score 900-plus runs in two consecutive seasons.

Add to that, Sarfaraz also became the third batter to breach the 900-run mark in a Ranji Trophy season twice. With no other batter, who has aggregated 2,000-plus in first class cricket since 2020 averaging more than Sarfaraz's 82.40, his call-up for the Indian team was surely a long-awaited one.

With the stage set for his debut, Sarfaraz will look to make the most of the opportunity handed to him.

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