Former England batter Owais Shah has showered praise on India batter Sarfaraz Khan, saying he came prepared for his Test debut against England in Rajkot. Sarfaraz had a Test debut to remember as India hammered England by 434 runs at the Niranjan Shah Stadium in Rajkot.
With this win, the hosts took a 2-1 lead over England in the five-match Test series. Sarfaraz, who received his Test cap from former India skipper Anil Kumble, made his chance count, smashing half-centuries in both innings.
Sarfaraz emulated the legendary Sunil Gavaskar to become just the fourth Indian to smash twin half-centuries on Test debut. Only Gavaskar, Dilawar Hussain and Shreyas Iyer had achieved this feat prior to Sarfaraz.
Speaking to Colors Cineplex, Shah said Sarfaraz looks like a different kind of batter before of his mindset and body language. Sarfaraz scored 62 runs in the first innings before being run-out following a mix-up with centurion Ravindra Jadeja, before smashing an unbeaten 68 in the second innings.
“When he comes to bat, it’s evident that he has come with the thinking of scoring runs. He doesn’t come with the thinking of defending. He looks like a different type of batter to me because of his mindset and body language,” said Shah.
He went on to say that Sarfaraz came prepared from first-class cricket and played the same game against England. Prior to his Test dbeut, Sarfaraz piled on 3,912 runs at a staggering average of 69.85 in 45 first-class matches, smashing 14 hundreds and 11 half-centuries.
“When he is on strike, we are thinking where he would be hitting a four or a six, and if it’s a good ball, he takes a single. He has come prepared from first-class cricket. He played the same game that he has already played in first-class cricket,” Shah added.
Jaiswal and Sarfaraz formed an unbeaten 172-run partnership to take India to 430 for 4, prompting skipper Rohit Sharma to declare, setting a mammoth 557-run target for England to chase in Rajkot.
In reply, England could manage only 122 runs before being bundled by the Indians on Day 4. The hosts won the match by a massive margin of 434 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
The two sides will now lock horns at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi on February 23.