Sarfaraz Khan after triple century: Had fever and cough but felt I should go out and bat

Sarfaraz Khan, 22, says he felt he was "the kind of player who could change the game" if he occupied the crease. He did so with a triple hundred.

Sarfaraz Khan celebrates dragging Mumbai past Uttar Pradesh's first-innings total during the course of his unbeaten 301.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

After scoring his maiden first-class triple hundred, Mumbai batsman Sarfaraz Khan revealed he had been ill for past two-three days but felt he should go out and bat. His unbeaten 301 helped the 41-time Ranji champion go past Uttar Pradesh's first-innings total of 625 for eight declared and secure three points from the drawn match.

He said, "Actually I wasn’t going to come out to bat, Adu bhai (Tare) was going to come in my place. I was having fever and cough. I wasn’t well for the past two-three days. But I felt that I should go out to bat.

"(Monday) night also I was not well. I felt I was the kind of player who could change the game if I remained in the middle. So I came out and played for the team," Sarfaraz said.

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Explaining his motivation to bat for almost two days, Sarfaraz said: "I did not think I would be able to go all the way (till the end), but I thought it would be good for the team if I was able to take it as deep as I could. Tiredness was there, during tea time I thought yaar ab bas ho gaya (it’s enough). when I got to 250, at that time too I felt it is enough, I should declare (retire), but the team backed me a lot. After fielding for 600 runs it occurred to me that they should also be made to field for 600 runs. There were a few other things too. That is why I was playing tight."

Mumbai captain Aditya Tare said Sarfaraz has improved his shot selection and has matured. "He always had the talent. I still used to feel that in red-ball he was not up there when he was with us four years back. But now obviously he works really hard on his batting. He is always practising, he always does his preparation. He is a cricketer who improves.

"What I have seen is that he has got a better head on his shoulders than he had when he was with us in the Mumbai setup. He was young so he used to play a lot more shots then. He has matured a bit now. He is a bit selective now, but still the range of shots that he has, he can bat at 5-6 for us and win matches, he has that quality, he is someone who can stroke the ball well batting down the order."

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