‘Virat Kohli said my fitness wasn’t good. Now I avoid biryani or rice dishes’ | Cricket

Sarfaraz Khan has seen many ups and downs in his cricketing career and he is yet to even earn his maiden India call up. The talented right-handed batter was always considered to be the next big thing even when he was a teenager. Despite all the promises, he was not able to put in consistent performances in the IPL or at the first-class level. Royal Challengers Bangalore, however, showed great faith in the youngster by retaining him ahead of IPL 2018 despite him not playing a single match in the previous edition. Sarfaraz, however, failed to repay the faith and ended up having one of his worse IPL seasons with only 51 runs in seven matches. His fitness standards were questioned. He was let go by RCB and at the first-class level, things had started to go southwards between him and the Mumbai Cricket Association, prompting the right-hander to move to Uttar Pradesh.

Cut to the present, Sarfaraz has not only returned to Mumbai but is in a better space and is also knocking on the doors of the Indian Test with back-to-back stunning seasons in the Ranji Trophy. Sarfaraz said a chat with then RCB and India captain Virat Kohli had given him a new perspective about fitness.

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“When I played IPL in 2015-06, my fitness level was not good and Virat Kohli had also told me that. After that, I improved my fitness but I again put on weight. But in the last two years, I have been very disciplined about my health. Everyone’s body is different, but it should not affect my game. For the last eight years, I have been in the IPL and clearing fitness tests. In my off-season also, I will pay attention to my health and fitness.

“When we were not informed about diet practices, we used to eat anything. But now, we are strict about our diet. In our house, we used to have non-vegetarian food every day. However, now we avoid eating biryani and other rice dishes. We either eat it on Sundays or other occasions,” Sarfaraz told Indian Express.

Mumbai faltered in the final but Sarfaraz ended up as the highest run-scorer of Ranji Trophy 2021-22 with 982 runs in six matches. This came after he had scored 928 runs in the 2018-19 season of the Ranji Trophy in just 6 matches.

Sarfaraz, who is currently a part of the Delhi Capitals squad, is yet to break the IPL code but says his main aim is to play Test cricket for India and fulfill his father’s dream.

“I play in the hope that I get better every day. This is my passion; this is what I have always wanted to do and I never want to come out of this zone. When it will be in my luck, I will play for India,” he said.


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