Sarfaraz Khan: The Journey Of Patience & Perseverance
Sarfaraz Khan (X.com)
Sarfaraz Khan wasn’t considered in the national squad when he scored no fewer than 556 runs from just 9 innings in the 2022-2023 Ranji Trophy season. But this was not the only shocker; a bigger heartbreak had occurred much earlier.
A domestic record to savour
Despite scoring 982 runs in the 2021-22 season of the Ranji Trophy, merely 18 short of the 1,000 run mark, Sarfaraz Khan was ignored. That must have been baffling. It may have left with pondering the big question: what more does one need to do in order to be considered for the highest echelons of the game in India?
He was ignored for nearly past half a decade despite putting in some ravishing a performances with the bat.
And that is what he knows. That is what, it appears, he’s meant to do.
To score runs, dollops of them at the domestic level! And combining game awareness and sheer bravery, thus far, Sarfaraz Khan has already amassed north of 3,900 runs in the domestic annals of the game in India taking just 66 first-class innings to do so.
You know you fare more than decently when you are just 88 runs away from scoring your 4000th first-class run especially when you are just 26-years-of age.
It’s an age where one is still trying to establish one’s career and find a steady path to a livelihood.
A young career now about to face the highest echelons
But akin to a young and introspective man who’s faced rejections on more than one occasion and with it, the inevitable sadness that takes its own hold, here’s Sarfaraz Khan ready to script the next phase of his life.
He has hitherto faced fear and rejection and the agony and ecstasy of trying to make a living as an Indian cricketer representing the national team. And thus far, without much success.
But a few days back, when it was announced that the more than capable youngster who plays for Mumbai in domestic cricket was called up for the Second Test, it was as if a long-standing question had been answered.
The question of whether he’d ever get to play for the Indian national team despite putting in belter of batting performances insofar?
There’s a lesson in persistence
But life not always puts us through a rough path alone. There is light after all. Which is why perhaps it just makes sense to take note of the key lesson in Sarfaraz Khan’s journey. Maybe it’s that patience is the key and persistence the way to unlock success using that key. For sure, being considered for the Indian cricket team’s Test unit is a big achievement. A result of years and years of rigour and heartbreak and setbacks.
But from hereon in begins the actual big challenge for young Sarfaraz Khan. Forget not, he’s a triple centurion. For starters, the batsman with an unbeaten triple hundred to his name in domestic cricket, would do well to remember that this is just the start. It’s the scores he makes here and hopefully, with added consistency that will enable him to make a mark. A true mark in the real sense.
Surely, it won’t come any easy. Facing the rigours of hard-fought competitive five day cricket isn’t the only challenge. In addition, Khan’s stumps will be on the target of Jimmy Anderson should India’s youngster feature in the playing eleven now that he’s in the squad.
Then there’ll be the young and booming Tom Hartley who’ll be raring to go at the back of his fantastic 7-for in the opening Test.
Challenges up ahead
Moreover, Sarfaraz Khan will keep himself in good stead if he notes well an irrefutable fact about the game. It’s one thing to feature in the national team of any other team, but something quite other to become a mainstay in the firmament of Indian cricket.
The immensity of competition. The present-day challenge of having to become a versatile cricketer that adapts to multiple formats. And then, the nearly undecipherable way in which the selection teams work in Indian cricket.
What the future beckons
As on date, one just doesn’t know what wrong had Karun Nair, a triple centurion, did so as not to be considered ever since his heroics on home soil.
Let us just hope that with his sheer skill and attacking instincts, the youngster can weather any kind of storm that comes his way in his bid to cement a place in Indian cricket, now that he’s been called up.