The BCCI announced India’s squad for the upcoming white-ball series against New Zealand and two Tests against Australia, where batter Suryakumar Yadav earned the elusive call-up in the longest format. The announcement came as yet another disappointment for batter Sarafaraz Khan, who again got overlooked by the selectors, despite having a blistering run in domestic cricket. In the 2021-22 Ranji Trophy, the 32-year-old cricketer scored 982 runs at an average of 122.75 with four centuries and two half-centuries. His highest score was 275.
In a recent interview with the Times of India, Sarfaraz revealed that he had met the selectors during the 2021-22 final match of the Ranji Trophy, where they had asked him to “be ready” for a Team India call-up for the Bangladesh series.
“During the Ranji Trophy final at Bangalore, when I scored a century, I met the selectors. I was told that ‘you’ll get your opportunity in Bangladesh. Be ready for that.’ Recently, I met Chetan Sharma sir (chief selector) while we were checking in at the hotel in Mumbai. He asked me not to feel disheartened, and that my time will come. Good things take time to happen. You’re very close (to an India berth). You’ll get your chance. So, when I played another important knock, I had expectations. But it’s alright,” Sarfaraz told the Times of India.
Many fans and cricket experts came forward and expressed disappointment regarding the exclusion of the Mumbai batter from the national side. Sarfaraz said that he felt really “sad” and “lonely” after he was not named in the squad.
“When the team was announced and my name wasn’t there, I was very sad. Anyone in my place in this world would’ve been sad, because I had expected to be picked, but wasn’t (chosen). Yesterday, I was sad the whole day, when we traveled from Guwahati to Delhi. I was thinking about what and why it happened. I was feeling very lonely. I cried too,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ongoing edition of the Ranji Trophy has seen him amass 431 runs at an average of 107.75 and a strike rate of 70.54 with two centuries and one half-century. In terms of his average (80.47) in first-class cricket, he only stands behind the legendary Don Bradman (95.14).
India squad for first two Tests vs Australia
Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav.