Team India is all set to face England in the second Test match of the five-match Test series. The match is scheduled to happen on February 2 in Vizag. After Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul’s injury, a few new faces were added to the squad. After performing exceptionally well at the domestic level and India A, Sarfaraz got his maiden call-up for Team India. Former Indian player Deep Dasgupta talked about his selection in the team.
Sarfaraz Khan’s Maiden Call-Up:
Sarfaraz Khan is a familiar face in the Mumbai state team. Over the year, he has been performing exceptionally well at the domestic level. He domestic tournaments, he played some excellent knocks that helped his team to win the match. Sarfraz earned his spot in the team after an impressive performance for India in a four-day unofficial Test match against England Lions at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. He scored 161 runs off 166 balls, including 18 fours and 5 sixes. His outstanding performance helped India A win by 16 runs, and he was awarded the Player of the Match.
The 26-year-old cricketer has consistently impressed selectors in recent seasons with his excellent performances in first-class cricket. In his 45 red-ball matches so far, Sarfaraz has scored 3912 runs at an impressive average of 69.85, including 14 centuries and 11 fifties. He had a standout 2019/20 season in the Ranji Trophy, scoring 928 runs with an average of 154.66, ranking him as the tournament’s fifth-highest run-scorer. In the 2022/23 season, he continued his good form, accumulating 982 runs for Mumbai at an average of 122.75.
Deep Dasgupta’s Words:
Deep Dasgupta, the former Indian cricketer, remains skeptical about Sarfaraz’s skills, expressing doubt because Sarfaraz hasn’t performed well in significant matches despite having an impressive average of almost 70 in first-class cricket. He said, “Credit to him that he has been in good form for the last two to three years. He scored runs recently against England A as well. He was performing consistently but there were two questions.”
He said, “The biggest question was in place of whom. We say very easily that this or that player should be there but only 11 can play and the squad can have only 15 or 16. Secondly, there was also this question and I have heard it from a few people that where are the runs in big matches.”
Later he added, “When people talk about first-class cricket, with all due respect, you have 37 teams. You are also playing against some very average teams. I shouldn’t be saying this, it will be disrespectful to some of the teams, but the quality of runs is also important. I am not saying this against Sarfaraz.”
He shared his perspective on the comparison between Shubman Gill and Sarfaraz Khan, indicating that selectors are inclined to give more opportunities to Gill. Dasgupta said, “At times, the selectors and team management have to be convinced about you as a player and you as a talent. For example, Shubman Gill vs Sarfaraz Khan, do you think both of them will get the same number of chances?”
Later he added, “No, they won’t. It is very normal or natural because you see more potential in one. So you give chances based on potential. It becomes very important that the team management, selectors, and captain trust your potential, about what you can do.”