Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar slammed the selection panel for yet again ignoring Sarfaraz Khan. (More Cricket News)
The 73-year-old said that there was no need for cricketers to play Ranji Trophy if players were being picked based on their performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Gavaskar said that Sarfaraz has been overlooked for quite some time now and it was time he earned his stripes.
During an interview, Gavaskar said, "Sarfaraz Khan has been scoring at an average of 100 in all past three seasons. What does he have to do to be picked in the squad? He might not be in the XI, but you pick him in the team. Tell him that his performances are being recognized. Otherwise, stop playing Ranji Trophy. Say, it’s of no use, you just play IPL and think you are good enough for the red ball game as well."
During the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy season, Sarfaraz smashed 556 runs in six matches, with three hundreds, at an average of 92.66.
In the first-class arena, Sarfaraz Khan has played a total of 37 matches, scoring 3,505 runs at an average of 79.65, including 13 tons.
PUJARA HAS BEEN MADE A SCAPEGOAT
Gavaskar also questioned the selection committee ignoring veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara for the Test series against the West Indies.
“Why has he been made the scapegoat for our batting failures? He has been a loyal servant of Indian cricket, a quiet and able achiever. But because he doesn't have millions of followers on whatever platforms who would make a noise in case he gets dropped, you drop him? That is something beyond understanding,” Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar highlighted that Pujara was not the only batter to fail in India's 209-run loss to Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) final. So, why was he the only one paying the price?
“Nowadays, players can play till they are 39 or 40, there is nothing wrong with that. They are all very fit, and as long as you are producing runs or taking wickets, I don't think age should be a factor. Clearly, only one man has been singled out while the others also failed. To me, the batting failed. Apart from Ajinkya Rahane, there was nobody who got any runs. So why Pujara has been made the fall guy is something the selectors need to explain,” Gavaskar said.