Mumbai youngster Sarfaraz Khan continues his destructive form with the bat as he followed up his maiden triple century with another double ton against Himachal Pradesh in a Ranji Trophy clash on Monday. The 22-year old batsman has been criticized for his inconsistency but now it looks like the southpaw has finally realized his potential and has been in some scintillating touch this domestic season
Sarfaraz grabbed all the headlines mainly because of his maiden triple century in Mumbai’s previous Ranji Trophy outing against Uttar Pradesh, where the youngster scored 301 from 391 deliveries but the match eventually ended in a draw. The southpaw continued his purple patch with the doubleton at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala. He reached the milestone in only 199 deliveries and ended the day with an unbeaten score of 226 from 213 balls with Mumbai standing in a solid position at 375/5 at stumps on Day 1.
The 22-year old was explosive right from the offing as he launched at the Himachal Pradesh bowlers and his shots all around the park resonated his golden touch and confidence in himself. Mumbai had a woeful start with openers Jay Bista (12) and Bhupen Lalwani (1) going out cheaply. While Hardik Tamore (2) and Siddesh Lad (20) also struggled to steady the ship.
Sarfaraz came at the crease when the scoreboard read 16-3 for Mumbai and with Lad also getting out after some time he knitted a great partnership with skipper Aditya Tare (62) as the duo dragged Mumbai to safer shores. However with Tare’s dismissal, it was Shubham Ranjane who supported Sarfaraz as he was on a league of his own butchering the bowlers all over the park mustering 30 fours and four sixes and will hope he can continue the same way when he comes out on Day 2.
His triple century was only third by a first-class batsman while batting at no.6. Among the eight triple centuries made by Mumbai batsman, Sarfaraz is the seventh in the list with Wasim Jaffer achieving the feat twice.
“It’s a proud feeling to return and also join Mumbai’s triple-century club, alongside great players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Wasim Jaffer and Rohit Sharma,” Sarfaraz Khan had told ESPNCricinfo after his monumental knock.
Recently, Sarfaraz Khan also opened up about his release from Royal Challengers Bangalore team because of the fitness concerns as Virat Kohli wanted the cricketer to focus on getting fit and ready for the trials of top-level cricket. Talking about the same, Sarfaraz said:
“I was dropped at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2016 because of my fitness. Virat Kohli told me straightaway while there were no doubts over my skills, my fitness was not letting me get to the next level. He was very honest with me about where I was,”
“I knew that is when I had to get fitter. So I started working out, running, doing a lot of cardio. I gave up sweets and tried to improve my eating habits. I won’t say I became obsessed with fitness, but I just made small changes to my diet. If I had two portions of something, I changed it to one portion, and gradually cut down on my intake of junk food,”
Talking about how he has improved his fitness, he said:
“I felt good not just about my improved fitness but because it helped me score runs and get a lead. At one point, all my team-mates used to call me ‘panda’ because I used to eat a lot. Now, they’ve started calling me ‘macho’. Actually, very few people know it’s my nickname now,”