The wait for a national team call-up finally ends for Sarfaraz Khan on Monday (January 29). He received his first India call-up in the ongoing five-match Test series against England. The right-handed batsman has racked up extensive runs in domestic cricket over the last few years. With KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja ruled out of the second Test, the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee called up Sarfaraz Khan, Sourabh Kumar and Washington Sundar as replacement players.
The second Test of the five-match Test series between India and England is scheduled to begin on February 2 at the Dr.YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Vishakhapatnam. Among Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel and Rajat Patidar, one is expected to make his debut while either Washington Sundar or Kuldeep Yadav will play in place of Ravindra Jadeja. Sourabh Kumar can also make his debut as he too is a spin bowling all-rounder.
Sarfaraz Khan was waiting for a call-up to the national team for over a year and was finally included in the squad for the second Test between India and England. He first came into contention for the Indian team when he amassed 928 runs in the 2019/20 Ranji Trophy season. Sarfaraz has since been a prodigy in domestic cricket and has been knocking on the doors of the national team for a long time.
Seeing Sarfaraz Khan receive his India call-up, social media heaped praise and congratulations on the batsman. Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq congratulated Sarfaraz Khan on his India call-up. He took to the ‘X’ to congratulate the right-handed batsman on his long-awaited call-up to the national team and said: “Congratulations brother, very happy for you.”
Watch: Imam-ul-Haq congratulates Sarfaraz Khan on his India call-up
Congrats brother. Very happy for you ❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/TDmKXMZYjj
— Imam Ul Haq (@ImamUlHaq12) January 29,
Sarfaraz Khan was at his best during the 2021/22 Ranji season where he finished the season top scoring with 982 runs in just six matches at an average of 122.75 and smashed four centuries in nine innings which included 275 against Saurashtra. He amassed 556 runs in nine innings which included three centuries in the next season.
Sarfaraz Khan also played for India A during this period and looked set to earn his first call-up for the tour of Bangladesh in 2022. Overlooked for the series, Sarfaraz was expected to receive a call-up for the home series against Australia, but overlooked again . He scored a century in the team’s intra-team practice match before the Test series between India and South Africa, but was ignored again.
Sarfaraz Khan continued to perform for India A and was eventually rewarded with his first India call-up. He and Rajat Patidar will compete for a place in the XI in the second Test match. Sourabh, who has also been called up, is not limited and could finally make his Test debut. He earned his first India call-up in 2022 but is yet to play a Test match. Sundar has limits in all formats.
The second Test match of the five-match series between India and England will be played in Vizag from February 2 to 6. The Ben Stokes-led team won the first Test by 28 runs and leads the series 1-0. India have not lost a Test series at home since 2012 and will be hoping to make a comeback in the second Test match. They lost the first match in Chennai during the 2021 Test series against England but then won three consecutive Tests to win the series.