Fazal eyes India comeback

Minutes after lifting the Irani Cup, the Vidarbha captain, Faiz Fazal, was praising the contribution of all of his team-mates right through what has been the most successful season for the team so far.

Faiz Fazal led Vidarbha from the front in the Irani Cup tie.   -  Vivek Bendre

Faiz Fazal is a soft-spoken person. Minutes after lifting the Irani Cup, the Vidarbha captain was praising the contribution of all of his team-mates right through what has been the most successful season for the team so far. “Need to speak something about myself also. I think self-promotion is a need of the hour,” he says, with a chuckle and take a pause.

“I have made over a thousand runs this season and I am much fitter than ever. I am hopeful of playing Test matches for India. Want to represent India again. And that’s why I play cricket. The day I think I cannot play for my country, I will quit,” said the left-handed batsman.

He may have marked his ODI debut in Zimbabwe in 2016 with an unbeaten fifty but ever since the tour, Fazal has never been in contention for the India squad. Has he ever asked a selector – two of whom, chairman M.S.K. Prasad and Sarandeep Singh—watched the entire Irani tie from close quarters?

“No. Never. I am not that types who will walk up to a selector and ask them about my selection and all. I think all these are our seniors and I am sure they are keeping close tabs on everyone's performance, including mine. All I can do is to keep performing and hope for the best,” he told Sportstar.

His performance aside – he finished the first-class season as the second-highest scorer behind Karnataka's Mayank Agarwal – Fazal has also led the Vidarbha troop well on course to its maiden Ranji and Irani titles. But he realises the challenges are going to get stiffer from now on.

“Winning the Irani is like icing on the cake. Ranji win was a very special one as we had to go through those leagues and then the knock-out phase. But the Irani Cup is the biggest match of the year with the Ranji winners pitted against the best players of the country. Beating them convincingly is a very special moment for us. We are very happy with our performance this season,” he said.

“We would like to repeat our performance in the future also. We would like to make wining our habit. We know winning always will not be easy but the effort will always be there.”