Mumbai: Young batsman Sarfaraz Khan, a Mumbai player all his life before switching over to Uttar Pradesh this season, is feeling a bit strange that he would be playing against his former Mumbai teammates in the Group B Ranji Trophy game commencing here on November 7.
"I am feeling a bit strange. From childhood, and for under 14, 16, 19, under 23 and in Ranji Trophy, I have played for Mumbai. Then this year am playing for UP. It was my father's (Naushad Khan who hails from UP) decision and I love him a lot. The strange feeling will slowly disappear," the 18-year-old said today.
The hard-hitting youngster, who was today chosen in the Indian under 19 probables list by the BCCI for a tri-series in Kolkata in preparation for the upcoming Junior World Cup to be hosted by Bangladesh, even went to the home team's dressing room by force of habit during UP's practice session.
Asked whether he expects some sledging from Mumbai players, Sarfaraz said there would be some chit chat, but all were his friends, including his best chum Suryakumar Yadav.
Sarfaraz, who scored a century (155) for UP against MP on his debut for his new team in Ranji Trophy, had caught the attention of the cricket fans with his bold attacking approach during last year's IPL when representing Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Asked about the IPL experience, Sarfaraz said that he had talked to South African stalwart A B de Villiers about what approach to adopt in the longer version of the game.
"He told me to take my time in the first session as the bowlers will become tired in the second and I can play my shots in the third. I will not totally curb my shots, as I am an attacking player, but am following his advice," he said.
He did not agree with the view of one of his teammates, Pravin Kumar, that he was weak against fast bowling.
"Each person has his own view, but I don't think I am weak against pace bowling. On the contrary I like to play fast bowling as the ball comes on to the bat," he said.
After the game against Mumbai, Sarfaraz would join his India under 19 teammates to play in the tri series in Kolkata later this month. A tour to Sri Lanka also beckons if he's selected for it.