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