India selector breaks silence on ignoring Sarfaraz Khan for Australia Tests

Ever since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad for the first two Tests of the Border Gavaskar Trophy, several questions have been raised regarding the exclusion of Mumbai batter Sarfaraz Khan. Even though limited-over specialist Suryakumar Yadav has earned his maiden call-up to don the whites for India, Khan has once again been ignored despite having been enjoying exceptional form in the domestic circuit. However, the BCCI had remained silent since then and decided not to pass any comment on the matter.

Now, Sridharan Sharath, one of the members of the board’s five-member national selection panel, finally addressed the topic while speaking in an interview with Sportstar.

According to Sharath, the BCCI is well aware of Sarfaraz Khan’s current form and has been following his batting in the Ranji Trophy. But looking from the team’s perspective, he failed to make it to the 17-man unit for the Australia Tests. Sharath made it clear that the selectors put more focus on the team combination, rather than thinking about any individual cricketer. Thus, considering the balance of the team, the 25-year-old could not fit into the squad.

After being asked about Khan’s future in the national team, Sharath noted, “He is certainly on our radar. In due course, he will get his due. While picking the team, we have to consider things like composition and balance.”

Sarfaraz Khan’s batting has become a crucial component for his Ranji Trophy side Mumbai for the last few seasons. He recorded 928 runs in the 2019-20 season and 982 runs in the 2021-22 season. His tremendous performance continues in the current season as well. So far, the youngster has notched up as many as three centuries in the ongoing edition of the tournament.

In his latest appearance for Mumbai, Sarfaraz Khan smashed a commendable century scoring 125 runs against Delhi. But, it came in a losing cause as Mumbai eventually lost the match by 8 wickets. Khan has been rested for the upcoming fixture against Maharashtra which is also their final Group league game.

Coming to India’s next assignment, the Men in Blue have three T20Is against New Zealand before taking on powerhouse Australia in February. The first 20-over battler against the Black Caps is slated to be held today at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi. On the other hand, the Border Gavaskar Trophy will begin with the opening Test on 9 February.

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