Sarfaraz Ahmed, a seasoned wicketkeeper-batsman for Pakistan, made a brilliant comeback to Test cricket earlier this week when he scored a vital 86 against New Zealand on Monday. With Pakistan’s score at 110/4 when he took the field, Sarfaraz and captain Babar Azam put up a 196-run partnership to help the team escape trouble. The hosts ultimately scored a respectable 438 points in Karachi, with Babar scoring a sensational 161 and Agha Salman adding a courageous century (103).
However, after the outstanding performance on Day 1 of the Test, Sarfaraz admitted that he had been tremendously anxious before stepping up to the crease. With just three balls left in the first session of the day, the wicketkeeper-batter joined Babar in the middle and even smashed a four off his first delivery, but Sarfaraz stated that he needed to be calmed down by teammates after he entered the dressing room at lunch.
“Jo maine 3 balls kheli hain lunch se pehle, uss time meri koi heartbeat check kar leta toh shayad meter hi phat jaata (During the 3 balls that I played before lunch, if someone had checked my heartbeat, there was a high possibility that the monitor would’ve broken),” Sarfaraz said, leaving the reporters in splits during the post-match press conference after the end of Day 1. “Because it was beating very fast. I felt like I was making my debut all over again. The situation was also quite crunch at the time. In fact, when I came back for lunch, the boys realised what I was going through so they kept on saying, ‘Saifi bhai, please get normal!’” Sarfaraz added.
The 35-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman proceeded by saying that Babar never lost his confidence during the partnership. “When I went again, Babar gave me a lot of confidence. He played like a senior cricketer there because I really needed some confidence at the time. When you make a comeback after such a long time, you feel like you’re playing your first match,” said Sarfaraz.