India’s 17-member team for the first two Test matches against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar series was unveiled by the BCCI selection committee earlier this week. Both Rishabh Pant and Japsrit Bumrah were absent. But Sarfaraz Khan’s continued exclusion while Suryakumar Yadav was being called up angered fans and analysts the most, leading many to doubt the selection process. Irfan Pathan, a former all-rounder for India, was furious and reminded the selectors of the “Ranji Trophy” in his tirade.

Before making a comeback in late December of last year, Suryakumar had been away from first-class cricket for three years. In a Ranji Trophy match, he scored an 80-ball 90 for Mumbai.

In contrast, Sarfaraz scored 928 runs at 154.66 in the 2019–20 season, 982 runs at 122.75 in the 2021/22 season, and 431 runs at 107.75 thus far in the current edition. He played in the Ranji Trophy for the last three seasons, scoring nine hundreds and five fifties. Yet he kept rejecting my request for a position on the squad.

Irfan criticized the selectors on Twitter after learning that India was chosen for the Test match against Australia. “Performances in the Ranji Trophy should be the foremost criterion for test selections,” he tweeted.

Irfan is not the first retired cricketer who has expressed anger about this pick. Aakash Chopra, a former Indian opener, questioned the reasoning on Saturday.

“The name of Sarfaraz is still missing. He believes that he was mistreated since his name ought to have been called. Bumrah has yet to appear. That’s another news but I am more concerned that Sarfaraz is not there,” he said on his YouTube channel.