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‘If you want to play 5-day cricket, you have to stay patient…’, says Sarfaraz Khan

Right-handed batter Sarfaraz Khan believes that to play a Test match of five days, one needs to be patient and has to practice every day, which is one of the reasons he can play the game for an entire day.

Sarfaraz is one of the three additions in the Indian Test team after Ravindra Jadeja (hamstring injury) and KL Rahul (right quadriceps pain) were ruled out of the second Test against England, starting on Friday at the ACA-VDCA Stadium, giving him a long-awaited international call-up.

Sarfaraz, a prolific run-getter in last three seasons of domestic cricket for Mumbai, smashed a brilliant 161 off 160 balls as India A defeated England Lions by an innings and 16 runs in the second four-day match in Ahmedabad, with his first-class cricket average standing at 69.85.

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“My strength is that I am not satisfied easily. I play 500-600 balls every day. If I don’t play at least 200-300 balls in a match, I feel like I haven’t done much. It’s a habit now. Practice in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

“I am used to only one thing, batting and facing deliveries. If you want to play five-day cricket, you have to stay patient and practice every day. I play cricket all day and that’s why I can stay on the pitch for a long time,” said Sarfaraz to JioCinema.

He also revealed about the cricketers he likes watching play and how he tries to enhance his understanding of the game. “I like to watch Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sir Vivian Richards, and even Javed Miandad because my dad has told me that I play like him. I watch Joe Root’s batting also.

“Anyone who is succeeding, I am watching them to see how they are doing it so I can learn and apply it when I am in the middle. I want to continue doing this, whether it’s in the Ranji Trophy or playing for India in the future.

Sarfaraz also talked about the role of his father Naushad in his development as a cricketer. “My father introduced me to cricket, and I always wondered why am I even playing. By nature I am an attacking batsman and I used to get out sooner than other and scoring big runs was getting difficult. It was disheartening to see others succeed while I wouldn’t be among the runs.

“Even when I moved from Mumbai to UP, he would take flights to come and see me. He would start bowling to me on the terrace or the road itself before selection trials. Now I realise the impact and importance of those efforts.

“When I came back to Mumbai from UP, I was scared if this would bring a halt to my career and I strongly felt there was no future ahead of me, but my dad always stood by me. There’s no guarantee in life if you don’t get opportunities. But my dad always believed in hard work, and everything I have is a result of that work,” he concluded.

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