Sarfaraz Khan :2022 (6 Ranji Trophy Game 982 runs)

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Mediaking 786
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Sarfaraz Khan :2022 (6 Ranji Trophy Game 982 runs)

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The 153 he scored against Uttarakhand in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals yesterday , was the lowest of his seven first-class centuries including 4 he scored in 2022 in 4 games

Sarfaraz @ New Star?

In the world of Sarfaraz Khan

Sarfaraz Khan has been in terrific form in red-ball cricket

Sarfaraz Khan has been in terrific form in red-ball cricket

"Acha lagta hai bada maarna. (I enjoy scoring big runs)"

There is nothing modest or untrue about Sarfaraz Khan's confession. The 153 he scored against Uttarakhand in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals, was the lowest of his seven first-class centuries.

The rationale is rather simple. "After scoring a century, I feel as if I should just hang in there. But after a while I realise that 150 isn't too far. Once I reach there, at times, even 200 seems in sight."


Right now Sarfaraz Khan is living in Sarfaraz Khan's world, where there is no dearth of runs. In delight or in frustration, everybody around is living by his terms.

On Tuesday (June 7) morning, up at 4am, he was playing old Bollywood tracks - and humming to the tunes of Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi as loudly, not realising many around on the hotel room floor had woken up to his music.

His roommate, Shashank Attarde, lodges his complaint "mera neend toda usne aaj" (he ruined my sleep), but leaves with a wry smile. After all, as things stand right now, Sarfaraz's appetite for runs is only competing with his appetite for food, and whatever keeps him in that space, seems like a good bargain for his teammates.

In the league stage, he had already amassed 551 runs in three matches, taking off from where he had left in 2020 - 928 runs in nine innings. In Alur, he was batting as flawlessly.

"I was pretty excited," says Sarfaraz, explaining the rationale of his early singing. "I was on 69 (last evening) and close to a century. Ranji centuries count (afterall). I wasn't getting sleep, I'd slept early last night."

For as excited as the Mumbai batter was about notching up another century, it wasn't a strange wake up for him, he admits. "The 4am starts are because I'm awake by 4.30 at home. We (Sarfaraz and his father) we have a lot of travelling to do. I get up at 4.30, go to Cross Maidan to (personal) practice, then leave at 8 and go to BKC for Mumbai practice. So this is a habit."

Against Uttarakhand, on a batting-friendly surface, he scored those runs so seamlessly that even he lost track of the pace of his innings - which had helped him even surpass the score of his batting partner, Suved Parkar at one point, despite coming in to bat nearly three hours later.

With gentle yet strong touches, glances and drives, Sarfaraz stroked another century, with a signature pop to a bouncer over the wicketkeeper's head for a six to bring up his century. So fluently he reached the landmark that even he didn't realise till the time his teammates started applauding from outside the dressing room.

"I knew I was on 69 and had some time. I have a thing where when I take about 10-15 runs, I tell myself I've taken only 1-2 singles, so that I keep playing. So today I got a couple of fours and a six and I didn't realise (that I had reached my century). I thought I was 10 runs away, (and was wondering) why are they cheering. My teammates tell me nobody realises how quickly your innings progresses."

In a comically late reaction of a burst of excitement, Sarfaraz dropped his helmet and screamed in anger.

"Because I wanted to make a 100," he justifies as a matter of fact. "I didn't want to give it up so easily. I think in four games I have 700 runs. My aim is to make 100 no matter what the opposition. After that I give myself bonuses, get ready for the next game. Obviously it's a hundred yaar. I wanted to get there."

The hunger and desperation for hundreds have not died in him as yet. Not the pandemic, not the break from first-class cricket, not the time on the sidelines for his IPL teams - nothing has changed Sarfaraz's form in red ball cricket. The batter credits his father for the effort that goes behind the scenes in making him all-weather proof.

"All credit must go to abbu (dad) because he's worked a lot with me...," he says before opening up about how his father ensured there was no dearth of cricket even during the lockdown. "Whenever we had offseason or in lockdown, we'd take car and travel almost 3000 km to play cricket. My village is in the Uttar Pradesh. So Madhya Pradesh is close by, then from there (we go to) Mathura, (and then) Ghaziabad. Everywhere there are a lot of academies where we stop for 2-3 days to play matches. Cricket also keeps going on and we get to read wickets also, the differences between black and red soil.

"For example, on black soil wickets you can't play square too much. Have to play straight. On red soil wickets, you can play late and can even leave, there's good bounce. Now (I'm ready) whether I play in Delhi, Haryana or even Bangalore. My Abbu would say wherever the match is held, it should be your homeground. When we didn't have a car, dad was in the Railways, so we would go by Rajdhani express to Delhi. He started touring so that wherever we go, we are not caught offguard and not scared."

Even as bowlers around the country are struggling to find the weak spot - not only to threaten his wicket, but even to control his scoring rate, Sarfaraz's father has kept a keen eye on his weaknesses. Or as the batter notes, "Only a family doctor can tell you what you need at what time."

"My abbu told me till the time you are playing just put an 'L' behind you - Learning. Keep learning. Day before, when I was shared my video of net batting with abbu, I was worried about my batting. I told him my elbow was going in and the bat face was closing, because I was playing a lot of white-ball cricket. He said 'none of that is happening, (the problem is in) your initial movement, your leg is moving quickly, that's why your weight is going one way. That's what he is, my karta dharta(one who handles everything)."

Except for watching movies and web series to de-clutter his mind before going to bed, there isn't a lot that Sarfaraz does outside of cricket, he says. He plays, watches, talks, and possibly even breathes the game.

Eventually, it was the overthinking that brought about his eventual downfall on the second day's play.

For an innings that was as flawless and chanceless as they come, ended when Sarfaraz tried to take a hard swipe at the left-arm spin of Mayank Mishra and missed the line, you'd believe. But not really. It ended when Sarfaraz assumed what the bowler's plan would be and tried to pre-meditate a shot.

And as cockily he admits his reading of the bowler, "I thought he would bowl on the rough, but by mistake he didn't bowl there. I don't know what his plan was, but according to the field, he should've bowled on the rough. I was ready for that, and I was looking to go for a six over mid wicket. But he bowled on the line of the stumps. I didn't think that would happen."

He thought a lot: about the ball, the bowler, the field, the shot and the result. All that he didn't do, as Brendon McCullum popularly said about himself, was he 'forgot to watch the ball'.

https://m.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/122 ... faraz-khan


Mediaking 786
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Re: Sarfaraz Khan :2022 (6 Ranji Trophy Game 982 runs)

Post by Mediaking 786 »

Sarfaraz ends ranji trophy 2022 with 982 runs in 6 games > 4 Dbl & 2 -50's
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