Middle-order batter Sarfaraz has a stellar record in first-class cricket. In 36 matches, he has smashed 3380 runs at an average of 80.47, with 12 hundred and nine fifties, which includes a best of 301*. Many, including Sarfaraz himself, expected that the cricketer would be named in the Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Breaking his silence on the form vs fitness debate over Sarfaraz, Gavaskar told India Today, "At the end of the day, if you are unfit, you are not going to score hundreds. So cricket fitness is most important. I don't have a problem with you wanting to do the Yo-Yo test or whatever it is, but the Yo-Yo test cannot be the only criterion. You got to make sure that the man is fit for cricket as well. And if the person, whoever it is, is fit for cricket, then I don't think it should really matter.”
The Indian legend pointed out that Sarfaraz is not staying off the field when he is scoring hundreds, but is back on the field again. Gavaskar elaborated, “All that tells you that the man is fit for cricket. If you are looking for only slim and trim guys, then you might as well go to a fashion show and pick some models and then give them a bat and ball in their hand and then include them. You have cricketers in all shapes and sizes. Don't go by the size, but go by the runs and the wickets.”
In recent days, Sarfaraz has opened up about being ignored for India selection multiple times. Admitting that he is disappointed at not being able to break in, he asserted that he will keep working hard. However, he also revealed about a conversation with BCCI chief selector Chetan Sharma, claiming he was promised a call-up for the Bangladesh tour last year.
While Sarfaraz was not picked, India named white-ball stars Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan in the squad for the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
--By A Cricket Correspondent