By Gokul Nair
Sarfaraz Khan has voiced his disappointment over his recent snubs
Mumbai batter Sarfaraz Khan, who has been piling on runs on the domestic circuit over the last couple of years, has not found a place in the Rest of India squad for the upcoming Irani Cup clash. The 18-man squad led by Mayank Agarwal will face Madhya Pradesh for the trophy from March 1 onwards at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior.
Sarfaraz Khan’s omission took everyone by surprise, considering that he had a solid campaign with Mumbai in the recently culminated 2022-23 Ranji Trophy. He scored 556 runs in nine innings at an average of 92.66, which included three centuries.
However, clarity was restored once the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) issued a statement over his absence from the squad. The press release, which also included the squad for the Rest of India, mentioned that the batter sustained a hairline fracture to his finger, rendering himself unavailable for the contest.
“Sarfaraz Khan was unavailable for selection owing to a hairline fracture on his left little finger. The All-India Senior Selection Committee named Baba Indrajith as his replacement for the tournament.”
He was dismissed for a first-ball duck in his last innings against Delhi. Mumbai finished fourth in Elite Group B, halting their progress in the competition as Saurashtra and Andhra progressed to the quarter-finals from the group.
Why was Sarfaraz Khan not in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy squad?
With Ajinkya Rahane not in the scheme of things in the Indian Test middle-order anymore, calls over Sarfaraz Khan‘s maiden call-up have been loud and clear. However, the Mumbai-born player was snubbed for the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Test series, with the management preferring Suryakumar Yadav instead.
Shreyas Iyer’s injury paved the way for Yadav to debut while Sarfaraz Khan’s wait on the sidelines continued. His poor performances with the India A side, which included a tour of Bangladesh in December 2022 were cited as the reason behind his omission.
The timeline for his recovery from the injury is yet to be revealed. He is touted to play a key role for the Delhi Capitals (DC) in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) since Rishabh Pant is not available to play. The right-handed batter is also a wicket-keeping option, which the franchise lacks at the moment.