The announcement of India’s squad for the first two Tests against Australia caused a stir as Sarfaraz Khan was not included. Despite his impressive performance with over 550 runs in the Ranji Trophy and an average of 90, the Mumbai batter remains on the radar of the BCCI selector, Sridharan Sharath, who stated that the team composition and balance were factors considered in picking the squad, and that Khan will get his opportunity in due time.
India’s spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, expressed his admiration for Sarfaraz Khan’s exceptional form. He stated that despite the ongoing debate over the batsman’s selection, Khan remains focused and has consistently delivered with 900 runs in both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. Ashwin said, “Where do I start talking about this batsman Sarfaraz Khan? There’s so much talk about whether he deserves to be selected or not, but he isn’t worried about it.”
Sarfaraz Khan has made a powerful statement with his exceptional performance this season, scoring nearly 600 runs. He boasts a high average and strike-rate in excess of 100 over the last three seasons. Despite not currently being selected, he continues to impress, recently playing a remarkable innings for Mumbai against Delhi, despite the team’s loss. It’s unfortunate that his consistent show of skill is not being acknowledged with a place on the team, but he is surely making a name for himself by burning down the doors for selection.
Former Indian captain, Sunil Gavaskar, criticized the All India Selection Committee headed by Chetan Sharma for ignoring Sarfaraz Khan. This decision has been met with disappointment from many current and former cricketers, who have pointed to Sarfaraz’s outstanding form with the bat in domestic cricket.
Sunil Gavaskar expressed support for Sarfaraz Khan, suggesting that the selectors should focus on performance rather than physical appearance. Gavaskar stated that Sarfaraz’s ability to score hundreds and quickly return to the field demonstrated his fitness for cricket. He advised the selectors not to prioritize a specific physique but instead select players based on their runs and wickets. Gavaskar told India Today, “If you want only slim and trim guys, go to a fashion show and pick some models. Cricket has players of all shapes and sizes. Don’t judge based on appearance, judge based on performance.”