Sarfaraz Ahmed: Getting dropped has helped me rediscover myself as player

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Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed
PA/Supplied

Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed says getting dropped from the national side has allowed him to rediscover himself as a player.

Sarfaraz was first axed as Pakistan captain and then dropped from the squad altogether in October last year as the team suffered a dip in form across all formats.

The wicketkeeper-batsman went back to domestic first-class cricket and averaged 48, scoring one century in a tally of 348 runs.

He has now been recalled in a 29-man Pakistan squad that will tour England to play three Tests in August, followed by three T20Is, with the matches taking place behind closed doors as part of the measures to stay safe from the coronavirus.

Sarfaraz said: "Obviously it was tough to absorb the fact that I was the captain as well as a regular member and then suddenly, I am nowhere.

"You do get upset but I couldn't really dwell on it too much, because I was fortunate that I had domestic cricket there and then came PSL.

"So most of the time, I remained busy. Then in this free time in the last three months in quarantine, I got time to reflect and improve my fitness to be ready for any expected opportunity.

"Overall, I realised that this 7-8 months gap away from the national team has helped me rediscover myself as player."

Sarfaraz will be the back-up keeper in England, behind Mohammad Rizwan who is now Pakistan's first-choice gloveman in all three formats.

Being second in the pecking order, however, isn't worrying Sarfraz and compared the situation to the 1990s when Pakistan had both Moin Khan and Rashid Latif competing for the same spot.

Sarfaraz said: "Fluctuating between number 1 or number 2 in priority has always been a part of the pattern.

"Even if you recall the time in 1992 and 1996, it was between Moin Khan and Rashid Latif, both coming ahead of each other at different times.

"So right now Rizwan is playing well for the team and obviously, he is the first choice and I am the back-up.

"It's not odd at all if your partner is doing well and keeping you out. Obviously I made mistakes which is why I am out, but now I am back in contention and with the team so that is what I am focusing on.

"What is important for me is that I am also there and will prepare accordingly. I will definitely grab the opportunity and wait for my chance to do well for myself and for the team."

- TEAMtalk media

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