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Sarfaraz Khan should be awarded with a spot in Indian team after his Ranji Trophy run-fest: Dileep Vengsarkar

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Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar has called for Sarfaraz Khan’s inclusion in the Indian team, saying that he had been ‘very surprised’ by the selectors’ inability to recognize Mumbai’s batter’s talent.

In five innings of the 2021/22 season of the Ranji Trophy, Sarfaraz has scored 704 runs at a high average of 140.80, with scores of 275, 63, 48, 165 and 153. The right-hander has been in red-hot form in India’s premier first-class tournament since coming back to the Mumbai jersey in the 2019/20 season, amassing a whopping 928 runs in nine innings at an average of 154.66.

“He should have been playing for India at the moment. He has scored tons of runs every time (in Ranji Trophy). And if the selectors are still not convinced, then I am really surprised.

“What else can he do to get into the Indian squad? Every year, he has scored more than 800 runs for Mumbai,” Vengsarkar was quoted as saying by Khaleej Times.

Vengsarkar, who, as the chairman of the selection committee, gave a teenage Virat Kohli his first break in international cricket, feels that Sarfaraz is a batter who can play for long and has the ability to win matches consistently.

“I have seen him since he was 12. He is a street-smart cricketer. He is always hungry for success. He is very fit and the most important thing is that he can play long innings. He has the ability to win matches, which is very rare in batsmen. He has scored runs against pace, against spin. So what else can he do? He is scoring runs consistently. Once he hits the fourth gear, he is a treat to watch.

“He is an improviser. And you need somebody to accelerate the scoring rate. A batsman like him helps the team because he keeps the scoreboard moving all the time.”

Vengsarkar, who scored 6,868 runs in 116 Test matches with 17 centuries to his name, further called for the Duleep Trophy to make a re-entry into India’s domestic cricket calendar and wants the prestigious tournament to be made compulsory for participation by the Indian Test players.

“If they (selectors) are not convinced (about Sarfaraz), then what I would do is to request the BCCI to have the Duleep Trophy on a zonal basis, and make sure that all Test players are available to play. So that they can see the young talent against India’s best bowlers and batters.”

“Now they have made Duleep Trophy into red, blue and green teams, which is not the way to go forward. So make Duleep Trophy zonal again and bring the senior players for a month. They will give the young players in Ranji Trophy a great exposure to play against the best players in the Duleep Trophy.”



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