File photo of Sanjay Manjrekar© Instagram
Mumbai batter Sarfaraz Khan set this year’s edition of the Ranji Trophy alight just like he had last year as he registered yet another 900-run season. The 24-year-old scored a fine century in the Ranji Trophy final, and despite Madhya Pradesh looking set to win the title, he has made a strong case for a call-up to the Indian Test squad. Former India and Mumbai batter Sanjay Manjrekar said that while his aggressive and sometimes unorthodox style of batting can raise questions about whether he will make it at the Test level, he has come close to a national call-up on the back of his brilliant performances in India’s First Class competiton.
“Because of the way he bats, you sort of wonder whether he’s a Test potential kind of a player. But the amount of runs he’s got in the last two seasons – and he doesn’t get 103, 104, he gets big scores and it comes very quickly as well at a great strike rate,” Manjrekar said in reply to an NDTV query about Sarfaraz Khan during a press conference organised by the Sony Sports Network.
“So even if you don’t have a spot readily available – you want to try out the incumbents first, because Shreyas Iyer has grabbed the opportunity as a Test batter by getting runs – there is absolutely no harm in getting Sarfaraz Khan in closer to the Indian Test squad,” Manjrekar said.
“Because when someone performs this heavily at the Ranji Trophy level, it’s also to a message that we care about Ranji Trophy. We care about our First Class cricket. And when you recognise performances of your Ranji Trophy cricket and reward the players with recognition at the Test level, then you also elevate the importance of Ranji Trophy level,” he explained.
“He is very deserving of coming close to a Test squad selection even if not in the playing XI,” Manjrekar concluded.
Sarfaraz Khan has seven First Class centuries to his name so far, and averages over 80 after 25 matches.
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