Sarfaraz Khan’s maiden call-up to the Indian Test team has been the big news ever since the squad was announced for the hosts’ second Test against England in Visakhapatnam. Sarfaraz has been brought in as a replacement for the injured KL Rahul but it remains to be seen whether he will make his debut in the second Test due to the presence of Rajat Patidar.
Patidar had been called up before the first Test as a replacement for Virat Kohli, who is unavailable for the first two games of the five-match series. However, the 30-year-old was on the bench for the match with Rahul playing in Kohli’s No.4 position. With Rahul also ruled out, the slot will have to be filled by either Sarfaraz or Patidar. South Africa great AB de Villiers said that the inclusion of Sarfaraz is very exciting simply because of the Mumbai batter’s extraordinary record in first class cricket thus far.
“It’s just very exciting for me. His record in first-class cricket is quite outstanding, and if there’s a guy that deserves it, it’s certainly him. He has played 66 innings, 3912 runs, and an average of 69.85. 14 hundreds and 11 fifties, guys, that is not normal,” said the former South Africa captain on his Youtube channel.
Sarfaraz’s incredible run in first class cricket
De Villiers has played with both Sarfaraz and Patidar at the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. Patidar, 30, has been around in the Indian first class circuit for nearly a decade, having made his debut for Madhya Pradesh in October 2015. He has scored 4000 runs so far in 55 matches at an average of 45.97 with 12 centuries and 22 half-centuries to his name.
Sarfaraz was the youngest played in the history of the IPL when RCB picked him in 2015. However, he could never establish himself in the league and it soon affected his form in domestic cricket as well. He left Mumbai for Uttar Pradesh for a brief period and he has been shredding the scoring charts since he made his return to the 41-time Ranji Trophy champions. In the 2019-20 season – his first on return to Mumbai – he scored 928 runs, averaging 154.66 after three big knocks—301, 226 and 177.
“That is a very, very good first-class record. I know it’s a big jump up to international cricket against England, on the biggest stage, I hope he gets a chance because Rajat Patidar has also been playing well,” said De Villiers.