Mumbai: Sarfaraz Khan, whose maiden triple ton helped Mumbai take the first-innings lead against Uttar Pradesh, believed that he was the kind of player who could change the course of the game.
Despite suffering from fever two nights ago, Sarfaraz scored an unbeaten 301, which propelled Mumbai past Uttar Pradesh's mammoth first innings score of 625/8 declared and take three points on the last day of their Elite Group B Ranji Trophy game.
"I wasn't going to come out to bat. I wasn't well for the last two-three days. But I felt that I was the kind of player who could change the game if I remained in the middle. So I came out and played for the team," Sarfaraz said.
Sarfaraz's triple century is only the third such score by a first-class batsman batting at number 6 in first-class cricket, and the second after Karun Nair at number 6 in Ranji Trophy history.
Before Sarfaraz, Mumbai's last triple centurion was ace batsman Rohit Sharma.
"I didn't think I would be able to go all the way. When I got to 250, I felt I should declare (retire), but the team backed me a lot," said the 22-year-old, who returned to Mumbai after playing in the Uttar Pradesh squad for three seasons.
According to Sarfaraz, the pace of his innings slowed after getting to 200.
"After I got to 200, I slowed down. I did not hit a boundary for an hour until tea after I went past 200, my aim was that we had to go past 625," he said.
Expressing faith in Mumbai's lower order, Sarfaraz said, "I knew that Shams (Mulani) is a player who gets fours easily."
Sarfaraz's father Naushad came to watch his innings from Pune.
Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare too said Sarfaraz has worked on his batting.
"He (Sarfaraz) always had talent. He works really hard on his batting. He is always practising and prepares himself well. He is a cricketer who improves," Tare said.
Sarfaraz can bat at number 5 or 6 and win matches, he has that quality, Tare added.
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Although the Board of Governers have a long agenda to deal with one of the main items is giving an extension to Wasim Khan, who has also expressed his interest in continuing as CEO.
The 31-year-old, who was released by Rajasthan Royals, was acquired by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2.2 crore at the IPL auctions last week.
Another source said that all the other players will undergo COVID-19 tests on Tuesday with the results coming by evening. Bihar has sent 22 players for testing.