Author: Abhishek Rajan
The young Indian middle order batsman Sarfaraz Khan is proud of the way he has transformed his fitness over the last few years.
The right-hander has revealed that he had been given the nickname of “panda”, but now having worked on his fitness, he has been able to earn a new nickname “macho”.
“At one point, all my team-mates used to call me ‘panda’ because I used to eat a lot. Now, they’ve started calling me ‘macho’.” Sarfaraz was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Sarfaraz was one of the Indian teenagers who had burst onto the scene during the U19 World Cup 2016 and he was, thereafter, picked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
While Sarfaraz impressed one and all in the IPL with his ability to hit the ball hard and place the ball in unusual areas of the ground, he soon lost his spot in the RCB XI because of not meeting the fitness standards.
The RCB skipper Virat Kohli, who sets very high standards with his own fitness, expects the same from his players as well and Sarfaraz says that Virat was very upfront with him in terms of conveying to him that he needed to work on his fitness to maximize his talent.
“I was dropped at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2016 because of my fitness. Virat Kohli told me straightaway while there were no doubts over my skills; my fitness was not letting me get to the next level.” Sarfaraz said.
Sarfaraz is not a part of the RCB squad anymore as he was released by the franchise ahead of the IPL 2019 auction.
The 22-year old featured for the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in IPL 19 and scored 180 runs in 8 games at an average of 45.00 and a strike rate of 125.87.
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