Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

It was like a dream come true for emerging batsman Sarfaraz Khan when he made his debut for Team India in the third Test against England in Nagpur on Thursday. Sarfaraz’s father Naushad Khan, who was present at the venue to witness the Mumbai-born batter’s debut, was in tears after his son received the Test cap from legendary India spinner Anil Kumble.

With his consistent performances in domestic cricket, Sarfaraz was knocking at the door of the Indian team for a long time. In his 45 first-class appearances, the 26-year-old has amassed a total of 3,912 runs at an impressive average of 69.85.

Sarfaraz has faced enough hardships and struggle during his journey to the Indian team. His father Naushad has always been a great pillar of strength for him. Sarfaraz who made his first-class debut back in 2014, struggled a lot to attract the attention of BCCI selectors. During a recent media interaction, Naushad said that his son was quite frustrated once as he was ready to sell track pants on local trains if his dream of playing for India wouldn’t come true.

“We came from the slums and used to stand in queues for the toilet where my sons would be slapped and overtaken. We came from nothing and will go back to nothing. Sarfaraz told me one day, ‘Abbu so what if this (playing for India) doesn’t happen? We can always go back to selling track pants,” recollected Naushad.

Sarfaraz started his international career on a remarkable note with a blistering half-century of 62 runs from just 66 balls. Sarfaraz’s sparkling knock came to an end after he was unfortunately run out in a horrible mix-up with star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

“It was my dream to play for India in front of my father. He wasn’t coming to the ground initially. But some people requested him and he came to witness this special moment. I feel some burden is off my shoulders now that I haven’t let my father’s efforts go to waste,” said Sarfaraz after the match.