Sarfaraz Khan likely to make his Test debut in Rajkot© BCCI/Sportzpics

The months of wait is set to end for uncapped India batter Sarfaraz Khan is all but set to make his international debut in the third Test against England in Rajkot. Sarfaraz has been a constant name on the fans’ lips for a long time, owing to his exemplary performances in First Class cricket. The batter was named in the Indian squad after the likes of KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja were ruled out of the second Test while Virat Kohli remained absent due to a personal issue. Though Sarfaraz didn’t make his debut in Vizag, with the team management preferring Rajat Patidar, his chances have strengthened for the third Test.

The likes of KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja missed only the second Test but returned to the squad for the remaining three matches, before the former was declared unfit for the Rajkot contest. With Patidar occupying the spot left vacant by his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Virat Kohli, Rahul’s place is likely to be filled by Sarfaraz. 

Though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named Devdutt Padikkal as the replacement for Rahul ahead of the third Test, the southpaw is unlikely to be given a spot in the playing XI directly, purely as he wasn’t the first-choice among newcomers in the team.

Even in the case of Patidar and Sarfaraz, the former was preferred for the spot left vacant by Kohli as he came into the team before the latter. Also, Sarfaraz is a middle-order batter while Padikkal likes to play as an opener or at the No. 3 spot.

It has also been learned that Sarfraz was an active member of the Indian team during practice sessions on Tuesday. While Sarfaraz mostly fielded in slips, wicket-keeper batter Dhruv Jurel was also extensively used. 

Jurel is also likely to replace KS Bharat in the team for the spot behind the stumps, owing to the latter’s underwhelming performances with the bat.

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