After averaging over 100 for three successive domestic seasons, Sarfaraz Khan is all set to get a Test cap. With middle-order mainstay KL Rahul failing to clear the fitness test, the Mumbai batsman is expected to be in the playing XI for the third Test at Rajkot.
“Sarfaraz will be making his debut. As KL has been ruled out for this Test, Sarfaraz will be getting his first game,” a source confirmed.
Sarfaraz has been toiling hard since the past few years. Even though selectors picked Rajat Patidar ahead of him after Virat Kohli’s withdrawal from the first two Tests, the 26-year-old didn’t lose hope. A day after the selection day snub, he scored 161 against England Lions.
“The game is all about patience. If we have to play Test cricket, we have to be patient. In life, there are times when we rush ourselves. I would get emotional about my wait to get into the team. My father always told me that keep working hard and you’ll be unstoppable. Having self belief and patience is very important,” he told the bcci.tv on his Test call.
“More than myself, I am happy for my father. In a country that boasts such a huge population, it is a proud feeling to be part of the Indian team,” he added.
The 26-year-old also delved further into the day when he found out about his call up. “I was getting ready to play the Ranji Trophy. I had kept the India A clothes in the bag and was packing for my Ranji match. I got a call suddenly and got to know that I had been selected (to the Indian team),” he said.
“I didn’t believe it at first. Then I informed everyone at home but my father was not there. I called him at his native place and he also became emotional. My wife, my mother and my father all were emotional. My only dream has been to fulfil his (father) desire to see me playing for the country. After the call up, it does feel like my hard work has paid off and I am very happy,” he added.
Also making his debut for the Test starting on February 15 will be wicket-keeper batsman Dhruv Jurel. The 23-year-old Uttar Pradesh gloveman will replace KS Bharat, who was far from his best so far in the series.