“He needs to improve his game against fast bowling…” Former Indian Head Coach On Sarfaraz Khan

Former head coach of the Indian women’s team, WV Raman, recently shared insights into the exclusion of young batter Sarfaraz Khan from the Indian Test squad for the upcoming West Indies tour. Despite Sarfaraz’s consistent performances in domestic cricket, concerns over his ability to tackle fast bowling effectively led to his omission. Raman believes that the selectors have valid reasons behind their decision and emphasizes the need for Sarfaraz to improve his skills against fast bowling and enhance his fitness level.

Despite his impressive domestic cricket record, Sarfaraz Khan’s exclusion from the Test squad raised questions about the selection criteria. Reports suggest that the 25-year-old was left out due to concerns over his proficiency in handling fast bowling. In a video shared on Aakash Chopra’s YouTube channel, WV Raman shed light on the selectors’ perspective, emphasizing the need for Sarfaraz to work on his skills and fitness.

“There were some views expressed supposedly by the selection committee regarding his (Sarfaraz’s) non-inclusion. One of them seems to be that he needs to improve his ability to play against fast bowling, and the other thing seems to be that he needs to improve his fitness and fielding,” Raman said.

Raman acknowledged the views expressed by the selection committee regarding Sarfaraz’s non-inclusion. One aspect highlighted was the batter’s requirement to enhance his ability to play against fast bowlers. Additionally, there was an emphasis on improving his fitness and fielding capabilities. Raman clarified that the selectors were not trying to find faults but addressing areas needing development.

“What happens generally is that in a selection committee meeting, they not only see the numbers that a cricketer has put up, they also try and discuss the various things that they might have detected in a cricketer’s framework of technique or his attitude, or the perceived ability of a cricketer about international cricket,” he continued.

“Somebody can turn around and ask me what they are trying to convey and if they think they are gods. No, they are not gods. They are not trying to find faults with Sarfaraz Khan,” he added.

The former India opener explained that selection committees do not base their decisions solely on statistics but also consider various factors. In committee meetings, they assess a cricketer’s technique, attitude, and perceived ability in international cricket. Raman emphasized that such judgments are common and crucial in selection. The current committee believes Sarfaraz Khan may not be ready to face international fast bowlers, leading to his exclusion.

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“That’s exactly what this committee has done. They feel that Sarfaraz Khan may not be up to it when facing international fast bowlers. These kinds of judgemental calls are the norm in selection committee meetings. This has been done before, this committee has done it, and it will also be done in the future,” he concluded.

Raman highlighted that selectors’ judgments are not infallible and are not perceived as gods. Their assessments are based on discussions and evaluations of a player’s framework. Numbers alone are not the sole determining factor. The selectors’ concerns regarding Sarfaraz Khan’s ability to face fast bowling reflect a balanced approach considering various aspects.

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