Sarfaraz Khan has been going from strength to strength as a player. Photo Courtesy: DNA (File Photo)
After making headlines at the school level, Sarfaraz Khan has quickly matured with a successful outing in the ICC Under-19 World Cup and now grabbing the limelight playing for Mumbai as well. Abhijit Banare has an update on one of the most discussed young cricketer in India.
The script is slowly falling in place for young Sarfaraz Khan. India has produced many prodigious talents in cricket but when the time comes for making it to the big league a lot of those talents are filtered away. But Sarfaraz has so far stuck to his task perfectly.
On Wednesday, the burly youngster made his Twenty20 (T20) debut for Mumbai against Saurashtra and made his presence felt with a match-winning performance of 36 in 20 balls which included four boundaries and a six. He gave some momentum towards the end along with Sujit Naik. After the match, Sarfaraz was quick to point out that the wicket had some assistance for spinners as well as fast bowlers. With Mumbai’s total crawling along, he knew the acceleration was needed.
What is more important to note is that Sarfaraz’s understanding of the match situation and conditions which looks as matured as any seasoned player. He’s high on confidence after a successful outing with his all-round performance in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014. In the first four matches of the tournament, Sarfaraz was dismissed just once and had hit two half centuries in the total of 205 runs he scored. He also had one half-century in the warm-up match against South Africa. Batting lower down the order, Sarfaraz is the perfect batsman to unleash the big hits. And more significantly, tries to remain calm which he has done in many matches recently.
What makes him special is a mix of strength and timing. There are burly players who use their brutal strength to score runs while the many other players look for timing.
But Sarfaraz has both. His only six in the match against Saurashtra was hammered over covers which garnered him applause from the Mumbai dugout.
When asked what his next goal is, Sarfaraz pointed towards a First Class debut for Mumbai. His teammate and senior Mumbai all-rounder, Abhishek Nayar added that players like Sarfaraz, Shreyas Iyer will be among the new set of players to watch out for in the seasons ahead. “They have a lot to learn ahead. Temperament is one thing, but as you progress the technique and skill needs to develop as well and then you have to adapt in the four-day format which is more important,” said Nayar.
As he progresses, the responsibilities will only increase. If Mumbai qualify for the main draw of the Mushtaq Ali Trophy, they will have only six or seven players left as the rest of the players move for the Indian Premier League (IPL) preparatory camp for the first leg in United Arab Emirates (UAE). In such a situation, Sarfaraz will be a vital cog in Mumbai’s batting line-up.
(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)