'Nervous' Sarfaraz opens up about Test comeback

He scored 86 runs in the first innings against New Zealand in Karachi

December 26, 2022
Sarfaraz Ahmed speaks during an interview — Geo News

KARACHI: Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed has revealed that he was very nervous for the first few balls when he came to bat today on the first day of Karachi Test against New Zealand, which is his first Test in almost four years.

Sarfaraz, who had last played in January 2019 before this game, had to wait for three years, 11 months and 15 days to don Pakistan’s Test shirt once again. The former captain smashed 86 before losing his wicket to Ajaz Patel 17 minutes before the close of play.

And he regrets losing his wicket in the final moments of the day's play without reaching three figures.

“I shouldn’t have lost my wicket at that stage because it is also difficult for a new comer to bat then. Personally, I wanted to score a century to make my 50th Test memorable,” said the wicketkeeper-batter.

Sarfaraz said that he was very excited when he was told about his inclusion in final XI for this game at training session a day before but also felt the pressure of the match as he was making a comeback after a long time.

“I spoke to Shahid Afridi last night before going to bed who motivated me a lot,” he said.

“When I came to bat before lunch, I was nervous, my heart beat was running so fast and I took my time to get relaxed. I was eager to return to pitch at lunch time and start batting again. I must say that Babar gave me so much confidence at that time,” Sarfaraz said.

When asked how he kept himself motivated when he was out of the team, he credited the people who are around him and mentioned that he always tried to remain grounded which helped him absorb the situation.

“Being out of team is disappointing for every player, its natural,” Sarfaraz said.

“But when I was captain, I made myself realis that these things would never stay with me, which kept me grounded. It is not written that I’ll have to play cricket Pakistan forever. I just wanted to play cricket wherever I could and that is what I kept doing and today I’ve made a comeback for which I am thankful to Almighty Allah,” he said.

He added that if a player is not performing then criticism on him is justified but added that critics should refrain from personal attacks.

“If a player is performing, back him. If not then it is okay to have him replaced by other player,” the former captain added.

Sarfaraz said that he is thankful to Allah for reaching the milestone of 50 Test matches.

“Many players dream to play even one Test, I am happy that I’ve got the opportunity to play 50 Tests for my country, I hope I will get more of such opportunities in future,” Sarfaraz said.

He has now set his eyes on repeating his performance in second innings of Karachi Test.

“Personal milestones have their importance but it is more important to contribute for team’s cause. I will try that whatever I do will should help Pakistan to win matches,” he concluded.

Faizan Lakhani is Deputy Editor (Sports) at Geo News.