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regular-article-logo Saturday, 22 June 2024

Sarfaraz takes ‘wrong call’ in right spirit: Blunder notwithstanding, debutant upholds Jadeja help

While Jadeja and fellow centurion Rohit Sharma weathered the early storm during their fourth-wicket stand, Sarfaraz came in at a time when the pitch was excellent to bat on and looked to be having a fantastic chance of registering a three-figure score on debut with his authoritative batting

Sayak Banerjee Rajkot Published 16.02.24, 09:14 AM
Sarfaraz Khan sits dejected after being run-out by a direct throw from Mark Wood, with Ravindra Jadeja on 99, on Thursday in a picture shared on X  

Sarfaraz Khan sits dejected after being run-out by a direct throw from Mark Wood, with Ravindra Jadeja on 99, on Thursday in a picture shared on X   X

The move to hold Sarfaraz Khan back and promote experienced campaigner Ravindra Jadeja to No.5 paid off for Team India in this third Test. While Jadeja and fellow centurion Rohit Sharma weathered the early storm during their fourth-wicket stand, Sarfaraz came in at a time when the pitch was excellent to bat on and looked to be having a fantastic chance of registering a three-figure score on debut with his authoritative batting.

But with senior partner Jadeja on 99, a moment of over-anxiousness from both batsmen led to Sarfaraz’s departure as Mark Wood’s direct throw ran him out at the non-striker’s end.

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The 26-year-old, obviously, must have felt dejected missing out on a wonderful opportunity for a debut hundred. But he doesn’t wish to read too much into what was just “a miscommunication, which is a part and parcel of the game”.

“Miscommunication happens in cricket. Sometimes a run out happens, sometimes it doesn’t. All these go on in cricket.” That’s how Sarfaraz put it during his interaction with reporters at the end of Day 1 of this third Test.

Later, Jadeja took to Instagram Story to share his thoughts: “Feeling bad for @sarfarazkhan97. It was my wrong call, well played.”

Instead of harping on his unfortunate dismissal, Sarfaraz, who showed intent
and aggression right through his 66-ball stay in the middle, was keener on highlighting the kind of communication he had with Jadeja during their 77-run fifth-wicket partnership.

“I spoke to him (Jadeja) at lunch-time and told him to talk to me while playing. I like talking while playing. Also, it was my first time in international cricket.

“So, I told him, ‘When I come out to bat, keep talking to me while playing.’ He kept doing that and guided me right through,” Sarfaraz emphasised.

If Sarfaraz impresses in the second innings too, it will only intensify the competition for a permanent slot in the middle order. “He was in good form for India ‘A’ against England Lions, so the selectors felt this was the best time to get him in.

“Mind you, if Sarfaraz continues to do well, there could be serious pressure on some bigger names,” a BCCI source told The Telegraph.

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