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Sarfaraz Khan apologises, pledges change to Gavaskar after India great’s stern ‘Don Bradman’ lesson for reckless act

Sarfaraz Khan apologised to India great Sunil Gavaskar after the India great had expressed his anger over the batter during the fifth Test.

During the Dharamsala Test against England, Sunil Gavaskar’s commentary took a deeply personal turn when he addressed Sarfaraz Khan’s questionable shot selection. Sarfaraz, the 26-year-old batter who made his Test debut earlier in the series, produced an aggressive display as he batted on 56 off just 59 deliveries.

Sarfaraz Khan (L) in action during the fifth Test against England; Sunil Gavaskar

However, momentum shifted abruptly after the tea break on the second day when Sarfaraz made a costly mistake. With a disappointing lack of precision, he attempted a cut shot off Shoaib Bashir’s delivery, only to find himself caught out at slip.

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Gavaskar’s disappointment was evident, reflecting the missed opportunity and the repercussions of Sarfaraz’s lapse in concentration. “The ball was pitched up, it wasn’t short enough for that shot. Goes for it and pays the price. I mean you are playing the first ball after tea. Give yourself a little sighter,” Gavaskar said, the frustration evident in his commentary.

“Don Bradman said to me, ‘Every ball that I face, even if I am on 200, I think I am on 0.’ And here is [Sarfaraz], playing such a shot first ball of the session.”

Sarfaraz had actually met Gavaskar an evening before in the team hotel in Dharamsala, when the duo discussed batting at length. That explains Gavaskar’s frustration when the young batter was dismissed playing a reckless shot.

According to UAE-based newspaper The National News, Shyam Bhatia, a Dubai-based businessman, facilitated the meeting between the two. In fact, Sarfaraz asked Bhatia to send his apology to Gavaskar.

“Sunil was telling him that the most important thing is selection of shots,” Shyam Bhatia told the newspaper.

“It is very important. He was talking to him for around 45 minutes. Then in the match, immediately after tea he got out to a very stupid shot. Sunil was so angry, and asked on commentary what he was doing. The next day, Sarfaraz was with me again and said, ‘Sir, please say sorry to Mr. Gavaskar – I made a mistake! I won’t make that mistake again.’”

The connection

At the age of 14, Sarfaraz met Gavaskar, thanks to Bhatia; the young batter was already a cricketing sensation in Mumbai, making waves in the local scene. Sarfaraz had captured national attention at just 12 years old by surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the highest score in the Harris Shield, a prestigious inter-school tournament, with an astounding 439 runs.

The connection between Bhatia, Gavaskar, and Sarfaraz deepened when Sarfaraz’s father, Naushad, sought Bhatia’s assistance the following year, marking the beginning of a significant relationship that would shape Sarfaraz’s cricketing journey.


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