Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan weighed in on the selection of Mumbai batter Sarfaraz Khan for the upcoming second Test between India and England at the Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium; after years of being snubbed, Sarfaraz finally made it into the Test squad after KL Rahul was ruled out due to an injury.
Despite expressing happiness for Khan’s inclusion, Pathan hinted at the challenges the player might encounter in securing a spot in India’s playing XI. India’s loss in the opening Test had sparked discussions about potential changes in the lineup, with Sarfaraz Khan’s inclusion being one of the focal points of attention.
Pathan suggests that while Sarfaraz Khan has earned his place in the Test squad, securing playing time might prove challenging, given the competition. Rajat Patidar, another contender, has been part of the squad from the beginning and is touted to replace KL Rahul in the playing XI for the upcoming match in Vizag.
“First of all, congratulations to Sarfaraz Khan for getting into the team after a brilliant performance in domestic cricket. This is a small victory for each and every player who is playing domestic cricket and scoring runs. I was really happy as he was selected. However, it would be difficult for him to get into the playing XI as there are players like Rajat Patidar who have been waiting for a long time,” Pathan said at an event, as quoted by ANI.
Sarfaraz was a part of the India A squad that faced the England Lions in three tour matches ahead of the start of the series. He smashed 50+ scores in all games, registering scores of 96, 4, 55, and 161 across four innings.
The Mumbai batter had been brilliant in the Ranji Trophy over the past few years, averaging 106.07 in first-class cricket from 2020 until the end of the 2023 season.
Earlier this week, Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja were ruled out from the squad after they sustained injuries. Sarfaraz, Sourabh Kumar, and Washington Sundar were added to India’s squad following the duo’s departure.
Jadeja suffered a hamstring injury during play on Day 4 of the first Test, while Rahul had complained of right quadriceps pain.