Sarfaraz Khan needs to learn his lesson quickly




The whole world saw it and they were nothing short of being mesmerised. Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and Indian superstar Virat Kohli folded his hands and bowed down in front of 17-year-old Sarfaraz Khan. The usual cynic who criticises Virat of being arrogant and brash was taken aback and sat up to notice what ingenious talent brought about this reaction. What would compel the best batsman in the country to bow down in front of a boy who had not even made his debut for the nation.

Sarfaraz Khan needs to learn his lesson quickly

Sarfaraz Khan needs to learn his lesson quickly

Perhaps it was out of relief because the youngster had laid the platform for a win that Kohli’s team desperately needed or it arose out of sheer amazement and respect for a unique talent. Social media, including Twitter and Facebook, was filled with posts about this kid who had displayed fearlessness, impeccable technique and amazing stroke making. Even Mike Haysman, a commentator who usually does not overstate things like Ravi Shastri and Navjot Singh Sidhu, sat up and noticed this wonderkid and said that he is one for the future.

Sarfaraz Naushad Khan’s swashbuckling innings of 45-odd from around 17 balls made you realise the seriousness of the talent India produces. The Mumbai born lad, who was picked up for INR 50 lakh in the auction by RCB, comes from a humble background and was one of the stars at the U-19 World Cup in 2014. However, the entire scenario is nothing new as India has seen many wonderkids just come and go like trailers of amazing films that never released.

Harsha Bhogle, one of the wisest analysts of the game around, made a small point and a relevant one. He stressed on the fact that 17-year-old Sarfaraz will need to improve his fitness quickly if he is to play international cricket in the future. The talent is there, for sure and unquestionably so, but will he be able to survive and resist this temptation of becoming a star first and a top class batsman later? Indian cricket has changed in a lot of facets and sometimes for the worse. Though we have star cricketers who can hit the ball out of the park (Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and many others), there are hardly any batsman who truly known the art of building an innings.

Sarfaraz Khan might be bedazzled by the magnificence of it all at the moment (or maybe he is not), but the system (media, fans and critics) can turn evil within the blink of an eye, which is what he needs to be careful about. All the adulation he achieves in one season can go overnight and harsh realities will come to the fore. Admiration and love come along at the cost of huge expectations and that is where things can go wrong. Many have succumbed to this pressure despite possessing talent as much as or better than what Sarfaraz Khan has.

The fact that the entire Indian cricketing fraternity is talking about him unanimously explains the kind of talent he possesses. He already has a fan base that comprises people who follow cricket with their heart and not with numbers or awards. Khan has age on his side and that is big advantage as it gives him the chance to recover from failures and still be in top condition as a cricketer. Like Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh, Khan will get several opportunities to prove his mettle, both domestically and internationally. One just hopes that India gets a top class batsman and not another flash in the pan like Vinod Kambli.

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