Sarfaraz Khan, the youngest to play the Indian Premier League (IPL), was the talk of the town yesterday after his 21-ball 45 helped Royal Challengers Bangalore post 200-7 in a rain-affected match against Rajasthan Royals at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday.
17-year-old Sarfaraz Khan en route his 21-ball 45 vs RR on Wednesday. Inset: Rahul Dravid
Like Sarfaraz, the IPL in the past has made Indian youngsters household names but they soon fade away after a few good outings.
Former India skipper Rahul Dravid and Rajasthan Royals mentor urged the youngsters to capitalise on IPL fame and replicate their success at first-class level to achieve more glory.
"Most people do realise that the IPL is nice. It's great if you have success in it; it opens other people's eyes to your talent, but after that, it needs to translate into consistency in Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy. You need to start putting in performances there for the selectors to really start taking notice of you," said Dravid yesterday.
He highlighted the example of India's Test captain Virat Kohli and how he developed his game. "I saw a young Virat Kohli at 19 when he first came to RCB after captaining India U-19.
I saw a guy with great talent. He didn't have a great first IPL, but one of the great things about Virat was that you saw a player with ability. The next time I saw him — a year later — he was an improved player. The next time I saw him, he was even better. He had addressed those weaknesses.
I don't think anyone is going to be a complete player at 17 or 19. How you address the challenges that come to you determines success. That's what Virat has been able to do. "He was asked some questions in England (in 2014) about his ability outside the off stump against a seaming ball. Six months later, he answered them," said Dravid.
Meanwhile, Dravid, who is reportedly part of a committee of recently-retired cricketers to choose India's new coach, claimed to be unaware of any such developments. "I've not heard anything about it. Whatever I've heard is only through the newspapers so I shouldn't be commenting on it," he said.