Sarfaraz Khan has expressed his gratefulness to Virat Kohli and RCB team management, who decided to retain the 20-year-old ahead of the mega-auction. After Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, RCB really surprised everyone by choosing to opt for the inexperienced batsman over the seasoned KL Rahul.
After Sarfaraz’s last IPL season had pre-maturely ended after sustaining a knee injury in a pre-season practice game, the youngster was expectantly nervous ahead of the mega-auction with franchises announcing the list of players they would want to retain. And his side must have given him the biggest New Year gift as they chose to place their trust in him alongside the likes of Kohli and de Villiers.
Hardly any expert had predicted the Mumbaikar’s name ahead of the likes of Chris Gayle, KL Rahul and Yuzvendra Chahal. Even if RCB had planned to go with a top-order Indian batsman, 20-ODI and 12-T20I old Rahul was definitely the more obvious choice over the former India U-19 player. Hence, when he was informed about his retention, he was pleasantly surprised.
"First of all I'd like to thank RCB management and Kohli. Nothing has changed in those eight months (when he was injured), but this. When I was injured, I was wondering what would happen (to me). The doctor told me to hold a bat after four months, but
"The full credit for this goes to the Allah and my dad. At a time when you get injured, no one comes for your help, but your near and dear ones. I've worked harder than ever before in my life in three last two-three months," he added.
Before the current Under-19 team departed for the World Cup, Sarfaraz was part of the side that played against them in a practice game. Coach Rahul Dravid's call worked in the favour of Sarfaraz as he attracted the attention of the RCB management during his stay at NCA.
"Around 10 days back, Rahul Dravid sir called me to the India under-19 camp in Bangalore and asked me to share my experiences with the India Under-19 team. I scored runs against that side, and Dravid sir praised me a lot. That knock was noticed by the RCB people," said Sarfaraz, who, at 17, had become the youngest to play in the IPL in 2015.
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