Sarfraz Ahmed © Getty Images
Sarfraz Ahmed has scored three Test tons this year © Getty Images

Sarfraz Ahmed scored his third Test ton for Pakistan on Thursday against New Zealand. The fluent right-handed batsman is doing all the rights things at the moment and has gelled well in the Pakistan squad in all three formats. Varun Arora looks at some important statistical milestones achieved by Sarfraz in recent times.

Good things seem to be happening to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They were in a dilemma of sorts before the Test series against Australia, but as time moved on, the players have come up with some inspiring performances to lift their country in crucial stages.

Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicketkeeper-batsmen, has been a revelation at No. 7; he has been swift both behind and in front of the stumps, and has collected 798 runs across formats for Pakistan in 2014. His ton against New Zealand propelled Pakistan to 393 in the first innings from a bothersome 287 for eight. Sarfraz got his third Test ton, and his second one at Dubai.

Sarfraz is not new to Pakistan cricket. He has been around for more than eight years now. He helped Pakistan lift the ICC U-19 World Cup Trophy at Colombo back in 2006. The wicketkeeper-batsman, who captained Pakistan U-19, made his One-Day International (ODI) debut in 2007 against India at Jaipur. But Sarfraz — who showed sparks for Pakistan —was away from the scheme of things for a long period. However, the year 2014 has set up things quite nicely for Sarfraz, as he is now a regular contributor with the bat against touring teams.

Here is the list of highest run-getters for Pakistan in 2014 (T20, ODIs and Tests):

Name

M

I

Runs

Ave

SR

100s

50s

Younis Khan

8

15

1015

78.07

54.01

5

2

Sarfraz Ahmed

11

16

798

66.5

74.3

3

5

Ahmed Shehzad

10

16

716

44.75

54.11

3

2

Misbah-ul-Haq

10

15

712

59.33

55.27

3

4

Azhar Ali

7

13

701

58.41

42.9

3

3

Sarfaraz is the second-highest run-getter for Pakistan in 2014 trailing behind Younis Khan. Among the top five run-getters for Pakistan, Sarfraz has the highest strike-rate along with a very decent average. The 27-year-old youngster has also piled up three Test centuries for Pakistan this year. He also became the first Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman to hit three centuries in a calendar year. He has hit centuries against Sri Lanka, Australia, and now New Zealand.

Here is the list of most runs by wicketkeeper-batsmen in Tests in 2014:

Name

Team

M

I

Runs

Ave

SR

100s

50s

Sarfraz Ahmed

Pakistan

8

13

667

74.11

72.34

3

4

MS Dhoni

India

7

13

466

35.84

53.93

0

5

BJ Watling

New Zealand

7

14

435

36.25

34.85

1

2

Mushfiqur Rahim

Bangladesh

7

13

433

39.36

48.21

1

2

AB de Villiers

South Africa

3

6

341

56.83

44.05

1

1

His first century came against Sri Lanka as he scored 103 off 127 runs at Colombo. He became the first Pakistani wicketkeeper to score a Test century since February 2009, when Kamran Akmal made 158 against Sri Lanka at Karachi. Sarfraz scored another century against the visiting Australian team at Dubai when he scored 109 runs. He got his ton against New Zealand at the same ground.

Over a period of one year, Sarfraz has been one of the consistent run-getters for Pakistan, and no doubt well will be an integral part of Pakistan’s ICC World Cup 2015 plans.

(Varun Arora is a reporter with CricketCountry. He started as a medium-fast bowler, converted to an opening batsman but finally settled with his passion of writing about the game. His Twitter handle is @varunjgd)