The extremely competitive and resolve challenging nature of the sport continues to live on in this innovative shortened format of the game, T20 cricket has been another wind in the sails for one of mans most beloved pastimes and the support for the beloved sport has returned to its glorious levels of yesteryear with competitions like the Pepsi IPL making the game as fiery and as adored as it has ever been across all echelons and classes. Within this great hive of growth and success across the sport, the culture of youth development in cricket has once again received its platform to shine within the game as more competitions and formats equate to a need for more players as playing opportunities become available across the realm. The Pepsi IPL has begun to mark itself out as a competition where uncut diamonds are unearthed and the 2015 edition has continued that growing culture in some style, our Talent Scout will continue to run the rule over some of the best u/23 players in the competition in this IPL 2015 Young Gun Scouting Report feature. Bless you.
Full Name: Sarfaraz Naushad Khan
DoB: October 27th, 1997 (17)
PoB: Mumbai, Maharashtra; India
Batting Style: Right-Hand
Bowling Style: Right-Arm Off Break
Playing Role: Batsman (Middle-Order)
IPL Franchise: Royal Challengers Bangalore
IPL Squad No: #97
Represented Teams: India u/19, Mumbai, Mumbai u/19
IPL 2015 Record: 1 Innings, 11 Runs, S/R 157.14, Ave 11.00, T/S 11
T20 Record: 7 Innings, 82 Runs, S/R 157.69 Ave 16.40, T/S 36 (Not Out), 2 Catches
T20 Debut: Mumbai v Saurashtra; April 2nd, 2014 (Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy)
The Grand Stand View
The surprise package within the Indian u/19 side at the 2014 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup was a young lad from Mumbai with the batting abilities to become one of the best run scorers to every walk up to the crease with a helmet on, Sarfaraz Khan is a teenage prodigy with the potential to develop into a mainstay for Indian Cricket for decades to come; a strong scorer with solid batting technique and a vast array of shots to add to the already delicate mixture, Khan can score runs at will while also possessing the mental capabilities to assess the situation when he is in the middle and ascertain what his team requires of him before buckling down and adjusting his game plan accordingly.
Khan confirmed his status as one of the many young willow swinging run scorers on display in the United Arab Emirates with his 211 runs in his 6 innings at an average of 70.33 with a healthy strike rate of 105.50 and a top score of 74 making him the 3rd highest scoring Indian batsman and the 17th highest scorer overall with two 50’s to boot. The fact that he displayed good awareness for runs that keep the scoreboard ticking over while also displaying his keen knack for hitting boundaries may have been the key to his solidity in the middle order as he showcased his potential to be a match winner already at his age, Khan can only continue to grow in stature at the crease as he grows in confidence away from it and that desire to keep getting better will ensure that he will soon be playing off genuine ability and not just on potential.
At 17, Khan is not just the youngest player in the IPL; the composed and sprucely young lad is also one of the living testimonies to the improvement of developmental standards in Indian Cricket and the power of internationally broadcasted opportunities and platforms like the IPL that allow the global fraternity as a whole to remain optimistic about the future of the game with all the prospects getting chances to prove that they are worthy of replacing those that are on their way out at the elite level.
While he may still need to spend a bit more time at the crease developing his in-game technical and mental approach to scoring effectively while still showcasing all his talents, Khan has already showed that he has the ability to make the step up and not look out of place at the age of 17; the experience of playing alongside some of the best batsmen of their respective generations in Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli will be priceless for Sarfaraz Kahn as he has the potential to be just as legendary in his era if he fulfils the abundant potential he has in his locker.
With the greatness that awaits him, Sarfaraz will be more than secure enough to do all the wonderful things he has had in his heart for his loving and supporting father who did like all parents should and ensured that his children had all the tools he could provide them with in their endeavour to achieve their dreams and fulfil their potential; Naushad Khan must be one of the most thankful men on the planet, he has raised a young man into an internationally known young star on the rise with a composed head on his shoulders and the new SUV Sarfaraz plans to get for him is just a mere token of the an appreciation that has an international reach.