Sarfaraz Khan © IANS
Sarfaraz Khan © IANS

The just-revealed IPL retention list has taken the internet by storm. While Gautam GambhirRavichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan were not retained by their franchises — Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) respectively, Royal Challengers Bangalore stunned the fraternity by opting to retain swashbuckling batsman, Sarfaraz Khan. The 20-year-old last represented the franchise in 2016.

To fan the fire, Sarfaraz missed out majority of IPL 2016 due to his ‘fitness’. Sarfaraz had played some vital cameos in the previous edition (2015) at a strike rate of 156.33. He, however, sat out due to the rollicking form of KL Rahul in 2016. In addition, skipper Virat Kohli had also asked the youngster to work on his fitness. Kohli stated, “He (Sarfaraz) understands the areas in which he needs to work on as far as the fitness and fielding part is concerned. You can’t afford to have too many guys in the field who are not up to the mark with their fielding because the outfield here is lightning quick.”

Sarfaraz was nowhere to be seen in IPL 2017 due to injury. It seems the wicketkeeper-batsman is fortunate to be retained ahead of Rahul, Chris Gayle, Samuel Badree and Yuzvendra Chahal. RCB, apart from Sarfaraz, also retained Kohli and AB de Villiers. They, in turn, have two RTMs for upcoming auction.

IPL 2018 auction will take place on January 27 and 28 at Bengaluru.