Sarfaraz: ‘I headed straight to the Mumbai nets after checking out of the hotel from IPL’

Being the early riser that he is, Sarfaraz Khan woke up around 4 a.m. on Tuesday and started playing and singing Kishore Kumar songs. So loud was the sound that it not only disturbed his roommate Shashank Attarde’s sleep but almost the entire Mumbai contingent in its plush resort at a walking distance from the Alur Cricket Ground.

Of course, the run machine apologised to them over breakfast before heading to the ground. And, two hours later, his teammates were left in awe of Sarfaraz’s strokemaking as his 153 was instrumental in Mumbai seizing control of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Uttarakhand.

Having plundered 551 runs in four innings in the league stage in February-March, Sarfaraz joined Delhi Capitals for the Indian Premier League. It didn’t take him long to find his mojo with the red-ball with the amount of time he spends in the nets.

“I headed straight to the Mumbai nets after checking out of the hotel from IPL. Since then, for the next 10 days, I did three sessions a day, with Abbu (father Naushad Khan) watching closely whenever I wasn’t training with Mumbai’s squad,” Sarfaraz said.

Sarfaraz keeps an eye on his score, in real-time as well career statistics. But it was a rare miscalculation on Tuesday when he realised he had crossed the hundred only after his teammates applauded his effort.

“Since I had scored two-three boundaries and ran too many singles, I somehow thought I was seven-eight runs short but once I realised, the celebration was bound to be huge. The least I expect from myself is every time I walk out to bat, I should score a hundred.”

Despite his younger brother Musheer having been included in the Ranji squad for the first time, Sarfaraz has stressed on sticking to Attarde as his teammate.

“He is my lucky charm. Ever since I have come back into Mumbai’s squad (in 2019-20), he has been my roommate. He may not have sound sleep because of me but he has been a real support,” he said.

That doesn’t mean he is not keeping an eye on Musheer. Moments after the interaction, as Sarfaraz was walking back to the dressing room, he saw Musheer knocking a few balls. “Lage rehna, aayega mauka  (keep working hard, you will get your chance),” he said to Musheer.

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