Sarfaraz Khan’s Debut Brilliance: Anil Kumble Impressed by 62-Run Knock in Third Test

Anil Kumble applauds debutant Sarfaraz Khan for his exceptional innings of 62 in the third Test against England. Kumble highlights Sarfaraz’s maturity.

In a remarkable display of skill and composure, debutant batter Sarfaraz Khan left cricket legend Anil Kumble thoroughly impressed with his innings of 62 on the first day of the third Test against England. Despite it being his first appearance in Test cricket, Sarfaraz’s mature and dominant performance showcased his ability to handle the pressure.

Batting at number six, Sarfaraz’s sparkling knock included nine fours and a maximum, demonstrating a range of shots that belied his rookie status. Kumble commended the young batsman for seamlessly dominating the spinners and maintaining a confident presence at the crease.

Reflecting on the innings, Kumble noted, “It never looked like it was his first Test innings. We all know about the talent he has, and we have seen him dominate spin at the domestic level. But at the Test level, you need a completely different mindset, and to have that approach and play that free-flowing innings was brilliant.”

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The debutant’s contribution was particularly notable in the fifth-wicket partnership, where he and Ravindra Jadeja (110 not out) amassed a crucial 77 runs. Sarfaraz’s 62 runs, unusual for a debutant, showcased his ability to be a dominating partner in a vital counter-attacking stand.

Despite Sarfaraz’s impressive performance, an unfortunate run-out incident occurred before stumps when Jadeja pursued a single to reach his century. Sarfaraz was sold down the river, leading to an angry reaction from captain Rohit Sharma. Kumble, drawing from his own debut experience, humorously suggested the possibility of passing on some “bad luck” to Sarfaraz.

In post-match comments, Sarfaraz downplayed the run-out incident, stating, “Thoda sa miscommunication ho gaya tha… (there was a bit of a misunderstanding). It’s part of the game.”

The emotional scenes unfolded when Sarfaraz received his Test cap from Kumble in Rajkot, with his father and coach, Naushad Khan, visibly moved by the moment. The visuals captured Sarfaraz running with his Test cap across the boundary rope to share the joy with his father and wife Romana Zahoor.

Expressing his joy, Naushad Khan hugged his son, kissed the Indian badge on the Test cap, and, in a visibly teary-eyed moment, felt immense pride. Sarfaraz, wiping away tears from Romana’s eyes, shared the significance of the moment, stating, “I wanted to give him the gratification of seeing his son play international cricket in his lifetime. It was my dream for him.”

Sarfaraz’s debut innings left a lasting impact, marking a promising beginning to his international career.

IANS