Mumbai, Feb. 13 -- On the eve of Mumbai's Ranji Trophy opener, against Baroda, at the IPCL Sports Complex ground, Vadodara, in December, the spotlight was trained on the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Suryakumar Yadav and Shardul Thakur. Sarfaraz Khan was resigned to his role as one of the extras who will come in when the regulars are on national duty.

After the Mumbai team were done with their nets and the players were getting their gears ready for the red-ball cricket, Prithvi Shaw announced to senior player Rahane, "I may wear Macho's pads," referring to Sarfaraz by his nickname. Shaw had come to check with Rahane whether the white colour he had painted on the original blue pads of limited overs cricket was good enough.

Shaw an...