Border Gavaskar Trophy | Sarfaraz Khan's exclusion abuse to domestic cricket, raves Venkatesh Prasad

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Venkatesh Prasad has come down harshly on the Indian selectors for ignoring Sarfaraz Khan for the side's Test squad against Australia, highlighting how the decision sheds a negative light on domestic cricket. He went on to defend the batter's fitness, stating runs are the more important metric.

India's squad announcement for the first two Tests of the Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia scheduled to begin on February 9 drew heavy flak from several critics of the game. Missing a host of regulars such as Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah due to injury, the Men in Blue made some left-field picks such as adding Suryakumar Yadav to their red-ball setup and affording Ishan Kishan a chance to stake his claim as the team's primary wicket-keeper batter across formats.

However, the headline was the absence of Sarfaraz Khan after the Mumbai batter was yet again overlooked despite an otherworldly first-class record. In 37 games, the 25-year-old has over 3,500 runs to his name at a stunning average of 81.51. Khan has already registered 13 red-ball tons, his latest coming in the ongoing encounter against Delhi just a few days after the squad was revealed.

"Not having him (Sarfaraz) in the Test Team despite 3 blockbuster domestic seasons is not only unfair on Sarfaraz Khan, but it's an abuse to domestic cricket, almost as if this platform doesn't matter," former Indian pacer and bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad raged on Twitter.

The slot in the Indian team, which opened up in the wake of the selectors moving beyond Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, was usurped by white-ball star Suryakumar Yadav despite his limited all-whites experience. Well-established as the world's best T20I player, Yadav hit two 90s in his two Ranji Trophy games before smashing his third century in the shortest format in the international arena against Sri Lanka. 

Several questions were raised over Sarfaraz's fitness with many believing it to be the only obstacle between him and an Indian cap. However, Prasad asserted that Khan's form deserved national selection regardless of his weight.

"And he is FIT to score those runs. As far as body weight goes, there are many with more kgs," added Prasad.

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