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Sarfaraz Khan’s father cries inconsolably holding son’s Test cap

With tears rolling down his cheeks, Sarfaraz Khan’s father, Naushad took the cap from his son and kissed the badge on it before the India vs England 3rd Test.

There were emotional scenes at the Niranjan Shah Stadium in Rajkot less than an hour before the start of the India vs England third Test. Sarfaraz Khan was handed his Test cap by legendary India cricketer Anil Kumble minutes before captain Rohit Sharma went up to the middle for the toss. When Kumble was giving a short speech with the rest of the Indian team members clapping and cheering for the youngster from Mumbai, Sarfaraz’s father, Naushad, standing on the sidelines, was getting emotional.

As soon as Kumble handed over the cap to Sarfaraz, the first thing the right-handed batter did was to run towards his father. With tears rolling down his cheeks, Naushad took the cap from his son and kissed the badge on it. It was a dream that the father saw, nurtured and the son fulfilled after years of hard work, toil and countless impressive batting performances.

Sarfaraz wiped tears from his father’s cheek and hugged him. He did a great job of controlling his emotions. For he knew the job had only started.

It took three outstanding Ranji Trophy seasons where Sarfaraz scored centuries for fun and challenged Don Bradman’s first-class average for a brief period and then swashbuckling 150+ for India A against the touring England Lions side.

Despite all this, he was never the first choice as a middle-order batter. He was not named in India’s squad for last year’s home series against Australia. The ignorance continued even when the initial squad for the first two Tests against England were announced. Virat Kohli withdrew but Sarfaraz still wasn’t considered. Rajat Patidar got the nod as a replacement.

It was only when KL Rahul got injured after the first Test that the 26-year-old earned his maiden call-up as a replacement. The doors finally opened after the selectors ran out of patience with Shreyas Iyer and Rahul failed to regain full fitness for the third Test.

Sarfaraz was slotted to bat at No.5 in the team sheet. This a position he has made his own in first-class cricket, scoring runs at will for Mumbai. He has an average of 69.85 in 45 matches. But Ravindra Jadeja was sent ahead of him when India lost three quick wickets in the first hour of play.

Sarfaraz was not the only debutant for India on Thursday. Dhruv Jurel was the other. He will keep wickets for India in place of KS Bharat, who was dropped from the XI after unimpressive performances. Jurel got his Test cap from veteran India keeper Dinesh Karthik, who like Kumble, is part of the commentary team.

The other two changes in the XI were in the bowling department. Axar Patel was replaced by Ravindra Jadeja, who regained full fitness after missing the previous Test due to a hamstring injury. In the pace bowling attack, Mohammed Siraj came back in place of Mukesh Kumar. The latter was released to play Ranji Trophy.

Courtesy : Hindustan Times

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