Despite scoring tons of runs in domestic cricket especially in the Ranji Trophy in the last three seasons, Mumbai batsman Sarfaraz Khan has been overlooked for selection in the India Test squad for the upcoming West Indies tour. On the other hand, Ruturaj Gaikwad has earned a call-up based on his performances in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023.
Sarfaraz has amassed 2566 runs in the last three Ranji seasons. He scored 928 runs in the 2019/20 season, 982 in the 2021-22, and 656 in the 2022-23 season. The prolific batter tried to hit back at the selectors by sharing his domestic numbers on his social media account on Sunday.
However, a former selector under the condition of anonymity has revealed the reason behind Sarfaraz’s non-selection in the Indian team. As per the BCCI official, Sarfaraz was exposed against top-class fast bowling in IPL 2023. Sarfaraz only played in four matches for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2023. He scored a total of 53 runs with a top score of 30 an average of 13.25 and a strike rate of 85.48. Overall, in IPL, Sarfaraz has scored a total of 585 runs in 50 matches including just one half-century.
“Sarfaraz got completely exposed against quick bowlers in IPL. Abhimanyu Easwaran not scoring for Bengal in seven consecutive Ranji knock-out games (three quarter-finals, two semi-finals, and two finals) was also taken into account. It is not just about how many runs you score but also how you score them that matters,” said the former selector.
“The angry reactions are understandable but I can tell you with some degree of certainty that the reason behind Sarfaraz getting ignored time and again is not just cricketing one. There are multiple reasons for which he hasn’t been considered,” he added.
As per the official, one of the reasons is Sarfaraz’s fitness which isn’t exactly of international standard. He has to work hard, maybe shed weight and comeback leaner and fitter as it’s not just batting fitness that is sole criteria for selection.
Moreover, Sarfaraz has some discipline issues as well. Sarfaraz’s celebrations after his hundred against Delhi in a Ranji Trophy earlier this year didn’t go down well. Sarfaraz was seen pointing a finger at former chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma after scoring the hundred.