After the Indian Premier League frenzy, the BCCI had decided to send a relatively young squad for the tour of Zimbabwe where India will play games in all the three formats.
The likes of Kohli, Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are all rested for the series but a few new names have come into the scene for this tournament.
India’s domestic team Vidarbha’s opening batsman Faiz Fazal was named in the squad for the ODI and T20 formats that will face Zimbabwe next month.
He is yet to be a household name and is without an IPL contract but his potential has been on show in the domestic arena for a long time now.
Talking to the media about his inclusion in the squad, Fazal said, “This is a massive surprise for me.”
“For two years before this, I kept looking up to see if I was picked every time a squad was announced. But I was disappointed each time. To receive this news early morning from India is a big surprise, but I’m happy. It’s funny how when you stop expecting something you have always been chased, things start to happen.”
At 30 he has plenty of experience to play with and can easily be the next star for the strong Indian batting line-up. So let’s take a look at 10 things about the 30-year old you might probably not have known:
- The 30-year-old made his first class debut way back in 2003 for Vidarbha against Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, he has played 79 first-class matches and has scored 5341 runs at 40.25.
- Fazal played 12 IPL matches during his three-year stint with Rajasthan Royal and scored 185 runs.
- Fazal is currently playing T20 cricket in England.
- Playing for Hetton Lyons Cricket Club in the Durham County, Fazal scored a couple of centuries this season. His first ton (104) came off 101 balls and his second was a patient knock (108 off 163).
- Fazal was the top-scorer for Vidarbha in the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy season with 559 runs at an average of 39.92 including two centuries. Notably, the left-handed opener is the vice-captain of his Ranji team.
- Fazal scored a match-winning century for Ambati Rayudu-led India A in Deodhar Trophy final against Dinesh Karthik led India B in January this year.
- Fazal proved his worth in the 50-over Vijay Hazare tournament smashing 312 runs from seven matches at an impressive average of 52.
- Fazal asserted he was a big-match player when he scored a ton for Rest of India in his team’s record-breaking chase of 480 against Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai in the Irani Cup final earlier this year. Fazal made 127 runs from 280 balls and set a solid platform for his team to gun down Mumbai’s total.
- Fazal’s first class stats show he can also roll his arm over a bit. The medium-pacer has 20 wickets against his name off 79 matches.
- Fazal, at 30, had told that his Ranji Team was aiming to become the fittest side in the country. The Indian selectors should have certainly taken note of his statement before adding him for the short-tour of Zimbabwe.
His inclusion in the Indian squad will give heart to a lot players in the Indian domestic scene that they still have a chance to represent the country at the highest level.
Do you think Fazal can do justice to his call up the national team for the Zimbabwe tour?