Pakistan Opener Imam-ul-Haq Extends Congratulations to Sarfaraz Khan on Test Squad Inclusion

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In response to the recent developments in the Indian cricket squad, Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq expressed his congratulations to Sarfaraz Khan, who received his maiden call-up for India’s Test squad. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced several changes following the injuries to Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul, opening the door for Sarfaraz Khan, Washington Sundar, and Sourabh Kumar.

Sarfaraz Khan, known for his consistent performances in domestic cricket, had eagerly awaited this opportunity. The social media sphere warmly welcomed the decision, with fellow cricketers also extending their greetings. Suryakumar Yadav, an Indian and Mumbai batter, was among the first to convey his best wishes to Sarfaraz. Notably, the congratulatory messages transcended borders, as Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq took to X (formerly Twitter) to write, “Congratulations brother! So happy for you.”

Imam-ul-Haq took to Twitter on January 29, 2024, to congratulate Sarfaraz Khan, expressing his joy with a heartfelt message.

As for the unfortunate injuries, Ravindra Jadeja suffered a hamstring issue while attempting a quick single on Sunday, and KL Rahul reported pain in his right quadriceps. Adding to the concern, Rahul had previously injured his right thigh during an IPL match in May the previous year, requiring surgery and sidelining him for four months.

In a media release, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stated, “Mr. Ravindra Jadeja and Mr. KL Rahul have been ruled out of the second IDFC First Bank Test against England in Vizag, starting February 02, 2024.” The medical team of BCCI is closely monitoring the progress of both players.

With Virat Kohli already unavailable for the first two Tests due to personal reasons, the absences of Jadeja and Rahul have added to India’s challenges. The team faces increased pressure after losing only their fourth Test at home since 2013 in the nail-biting first Test against England, which the visitors won by 28 runs.

Both Rahul and Jadeja made significant contributions in the first Test, with Jadeja taking five wickets and scoring 87 runs in the first innings, while Rahul posted a score of 86. Jadeja’s all-round abilities are considered invaluable to the team. The off-spinner Washington Sundar, with promise shown in his four-Test old career, may be a potential replacement for Jadeja in the playing eleven.

Rahul, who displayed stellar form since his comeback from injury in the Asia Cup in September, had been performing well in ODIs and Tests, shouldering the responsibility of wicket-keeping in the ODI World Cup and the recent Test series in South Africa. While Sarfaraz Khan has earned a well-deserved call-up, the likelihood of Rajat Patidar, already part of the 15, making his debut in Vizag appears higher.

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