Sarfaraz Khan set for find maiden Test call up for Bangladesh tour in November - Reports
With a minimum of 2,000 runs, only Sir Don Bradman averages higher than Sarfaraz Khan in first-class cricket to date.
The door is finally breaking, with Sarfaraz Khan seeing the light of accomplishment staring at him as reports emerge that Mumbai's rampaging middle-order batter is set to find his maiden India call-up for the Test tour of Bangladesh in November.
Times of India reported that the in-form right-hander is confirmed to find the nod when the selectors sit to finalise a squad for India's next Test assignment, a two-match series against Bangladesh, part of the ongoing cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC).
Ideally, the selectors would've initially tested the ground with Sarfaraz on multiple A tours, especially in overseas conditions. But with hardly any of those trips around in the coming months, the selectors think the Test series versus the Asian neighbours is a perfect opportunity to blood him into the senior squad.
Sarfaraz Khan to be picked for Test tour of Bangladesh
Ever since reshifting base to Mumbai at the start of the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy season, Sarfaraz Khan has been in stellar form with the bat. The youngster hasn't been knocking on the door, he has been shattering it into pieces with each innings.
The 24-year-old smashed a whopping 928 runs in just eight innings of the pre-pandemic season, with three hundreds and two half-centuries, averaging 154.66. He has backed that up with a prolific return to first-class cricket, making 937 runs from just six matches at an average of 133.85, featuring four century-plus scores.
"It's impossible to overlook him now. His performances are speaking about his huge ability, and putting pressure on many in the Indian team. He will be a certainty when the selectors pick the Indian team for the Bangladesh Test series. He did well for India A last year in South Arica and he's an excellent fielder," TOI quoted a "reliable" BCCI source as saying.
Sarfaraz, when he travelled to South Africa late last year for a rare India A tour in pandemic times, produced a freeflowing 71 not out in one of his two innings versus the hosts. His overall first-class average now stands at an eye-catching 81.06 after 24 matches. At a minimum bar of 2,000 runs, only Sir Don Bradman has ever averaged higher in first-class cricket to date.
Sarfaraz Khan's latest first-class ton saw him compile a brilliant 134 off 243 deliveries in Mumbai's team total of 374 all out in the Ranji Trophy final against MP. At the sidelines of the game, after the close of the opening day, senior selectors Sunil Joshi and Harvinder Singh had elongated chats with Sarfaraz, a telling sign that the player is now part of their plans and will be in reckoning when the next Test squad is picked.
"This is the first time I spoke to the selectors," Sarfaraz told the press, as quoted by TOI. "I felt good after speaking to Joshi and Harvinder sir. They were saying that despite Chandu sir (MP coach Chandrakant Pandit) having blocked my sweep shot, I showed patience and didn't play that shot, was taking singles, and didn't come under pressure. They praised my knock."