Memories of their school days flew thick and fast as Sarfaraz Khan and Armaan Jaffer were felicitated by Rizvi Springfield (Bandra) for being picked in the India U-19 World Cup squad.
Rizvi Springfield's trustee Javed Rizvi (left) and school's coach Raju Pathak (right) felicitate their players Armaan Jaffer (second from left) and Sarfaraz Khan at their Bandra college yesterday
While Sarfaraz, who played the last U-19 World Cup in United Arab Emirates, Armaan had his task cut out after not being picked in the two tri-series before the final squad was announced. Armaan scored three consecutive double centuries and missed the fourth by just 26 runs in the U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy to force the junior selectors to take note of his form and talent.
Sarfaraz and Armaan garnered a lot of attention when they scored 439 (in 2009) and 498 (in 2010) runs respectively in an inter-school match. They have not looked back since.
This season, Sarfaraz left Mumbai to play first-class cricket for Uttar Pradesh. However, the inclusion of Armaan in the U-19 World Cup squad has rekindled the joy of batting together again. "We have played so much of cricket together that we have a very good understanding while batting together. We don't even feel the need to call for a run. We just look at each other and understand if we have to go for a run or not," said Sarfaraz.
Partnership to cherish
Armaan is excited to partner Sarfaraz again. "It is always a joy to play with him. He is a very attacking player and that eases the pressure on the non-striker," said Armaan.
Their school coach Raju Pathak said he never had to worry when Sarfaraz and Armaan were batting together. He hopes Rahul Dravid, India's U-19 coach, will also experience the same.
Sarfaraz summed up his partnership with Armaan aptly: "If I see Armaan at the other end during the World Cup, I will take it as a Giles or Harris Shield match (inter-school) match. We love playing with each other," said Sarfaraz.
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