Sarfaraz Khan with glorious Ranji Trophy ton knocks at selection door
Bengaluru: Sarfaraz Khan completed his transformation from Mumbai cricket’s resident ‘enfant terrible’ to ‘Man Friday’ with a superb hundred that kept his side ahead against Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy final, here on Thursday.
Courtesy Sarfaraz’s fourth hundred of the season 134 off 243 balls — the 41-time champions managed a fighting 374 in their first innings after beginning the day at 248 for five.
Sarfaraz, who has already amassed an incredible 900-plus run in the Ranji Trophy in only six matches, might breach 1000 runs for the season if Mumbai are put to bat again in the game.
But Madhya Pradesh won’t be too unhappy as they finished the second day at 123 for one with Yash Dubey (44 batting) and Shubham Sharma (41 batting) adding 76 runs for the unbroken second wicket.
The day belonged to none other than Sarfaraz, who has now scored an astounding 937 runs in Ranji Trophy in just six games and could make it 1000 for the season if Mumbai bat again in this match.
His innings had 13 boundaries and two huge sixes — one over square leg off left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya and one down the ground off off-spinner Saransh Jain.
In the media interaction following play on Day 2, a teary-eyed Sarfaraz credited his father and coach Naushad Khan for his success so far and spoke about his fiery celebration after he brought up the century.
“This hundred is because of my abbu (father), his sacrifices and holding my hand when I could have been down and out,” said Sarfaraz, reported PTI.
“In our lives, it’s about all those little dreams that we harbour. The dreams that we (he and his dad) have dreamt together. The nearly 2000 runs that I have scored in two seasons since my Mumbai comeback is because of my abbu.”
“Aap sab toh jaante ho mere saath kya kya huwa hai.. Abbu na rahte toh main khatm ho jataa (You all know what I have gone through and had my father not been there, I would have been finished by now),” stated the 24-year-old.
“There has been so much of struggle and when I think how my dad dealt with all of it, I get emotional. He didn’t leave my hand even once. My brother put up a status on his cell phone and I could see Abbu so happy. It made my day.”
The Indian Test team’s middle-order is still jam-packed but the manner in which Sarfaraz is batting, to put it in head coach Rahul Dravid’s words, he is not just knocking but banging the selection door down.
Sarfaraz was involved in four small, but very effective, partnerships which could prove to be decisive if the match turns out to be an affair of one innings.