Wasim Jaffer, the former Indian opener and the highest run-getter in the history of Ranji Trophy, opened up about his exploits in domestic cricket and his unfulfilled journey at the top level.
Jaffer, a stalwart of the domestic game, was asked about his astounding consistency during an interaction on SportsTiger Youtube show ‘Off the Field’.
The former opener replied by saying that although he was consistent at the domestic level, the same wasn’t the case at the top-level, which is perhaps why he wasn’t able to emulate his exploits while representing the Indian cricket team.
“To be honest, I was not that consistent otherwise I would have played more than 100 Test matches. I was not that consistent at the international level, that is why I was dropped. But I was consistent on the domestic front.” Wasim Jaffer said.
“Lot of people know me or I have got famous for my first-class career more than the international cricket I have played. But I have been fortunate, the love for the game, the love for batting and that is the only thing I feel I know,” he added.
“Probably the selectors are the best people who can answer that”- Wasim Jaffer on why he didn’t get a recall to the Indian team
Wasim Jaffer was one of the main reasons behind India winning the 2007 Test series in England after a gap of 21 years. The right-hander stiched crucial stands with fellow opener Dinesh Karthik consistently to lay a platform for the Fab-4 to take over. Jaffer then returned home where he scored his second double-century of his career against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens. The 2007-08 tour of Australia, however, proved to be the beginning of the end for Jaffer’s Test career.
Regular failures against Brett Lee and then against Dale Steyn in the 2008 home series followed by the rise of Gautam Gambhir meant the Mumbai batsman was dropped from the set-up. Jaffer did not play for India again but he feels that his consistent performances in the following domestic season deserved another national call-up.
“I think I definitely performed after I was dropped in 2008. The very next season I was the highest run-getter in Ranji Trophy. I got 1250 runs the same season, I was the Ranji captain, we went on to win the Ranji Trophy. I was the captain in West Zone, we went on to win the Duleep Trophy.” he added.
Jaffer revealed that he was in contention for a recall after Virender Sehwag was dropped from the Test team in 2013, only to be ultimately pipped by Shikhar Dhawan.
“And even in 2012-13, even then I was very close to being selected when Shikhar Dhawan got selected. So, I came very close a couple of times or even more but somehow I missed the bus which I don’t know.” Jaffer said.
“Probably the selectors are the best people who can answer that. But I definitely kept knocking the doors but never got a look-in. So no regrets about it,” he added.
Nevertheless, Wasim Jaffer remains a doyen in Indian domestic cricket. The right-hander has racked up 19410 runs in 260 First-Class games at an average of 50.67, which includes 57 hundreds and 91 half-centuries.