Senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin threw his weight behind Mumbai batter Sarfaraz Khan, who has been overlooked for India's squad for the first two Tests against Australia despite his superb domestic form.
Senior India bowler Ravichandran Ashwin threw his weight behind Sarfaraz Khan on Saturday after the Mumbai batter was overlooked by the national selectors despite his red-hot domestic form.
Sarfaraz’s name did not appear when the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee announced the India squad for the first two Tests against Australia in February, leading to a lot of furore within the Indian cricketing community.
The Mumbaikar has been in outstanding touch this season, scoring 556 runs in the ongoing Ranji Trophy at an average of 92.66 and scoring three centuries in his last five appearances.
Ashwin, an automatic pick for the Indian team when it comes to home assignments, hailed the 25-year-old for making a “strong statement with his sheer performances”.
“This season, he has scored almost 600 runs. He has made a strong statement with his sheer performances. He is averaging in excess of 100 in the last three seasons at a high strike-rate as well.
“Sarfaraz Khan is not just smashing on the selection doors. He is burning them. But unfortunately, he is not getting selected currently. Despite not getting selected, he played a terrific knock for Mumbai against Delhi, the game in which Mumbai lost,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
Besides Ashwin, Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar also questioned the selectors over their decision to not even name Sarfaraz in the squad. Gavaskar’s comments came at a time when there were reports of Sarfaraz’s fitness being a key factor behind his exclusion from the senior team.
“If you are looking for only slim and trim guys, then might as well go to a fashion show and find some other models and give a bat and ball in their hands and then improve them. That’s not the way cricket goes.
“How can you score runs? I think at the end of the day if you are unfit, you aren’t gonna score hundreds. Cricket fitness is the most important thing,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying according to India Today.
A similar clamour had been made for Prithvi Shaw, who had been enjoying a superb run of form for Mumbai in the domestic white-ball tournaments. The Delhi Capitals opener was eventually included in India’s squad for the T20I series against New Zealand, which is currently underway.
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