‘I’ve nobody but myself to blame’ – Wasim Jaffer on not playing many Tests for India
He also felt that his poor form coincided with the emergence of some of the best openers in the country.
Updated - Apr 9, 2020 1:10 pm
Wasim Jaffer is one of the most popular batsmen going around Indian domestic cricket. The 42-year-old had made his first-class debut in 1996 and went on to play until early 2020 when he finally decided to hang his boots. He played for Mumbai for the majority of his career before moving to Vidarbha. Jaffer won many titles for Mumbai and later on went on replicate those efforts with Vidarbha as well.
During his career, Jaffer played 260 first-class matches, amassing 19410 runs at an average of 50.67. He is the highest ever run-scorer in the history of Ranji Trophy. Even though he was one of the finest batsmen in the country, Wasim couldn’t make it big at the international level. He only played 31 Tests, scoring 1944 runs at an average of 34.10.
Though he had scored five Test centuries, including two 200+ scores, Jaffer was never picked by the Indian selectors after 2008. In a recent interview, the legendary player opened up about his Test career and went on to say that only he was to be blamed for not playing more than 31 Test matches
Mentally, I was not there, says Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer was asked whether he thinks he underachieved in Tests, to which the batsman agreed. According to him, he wasn’t quite consistent and also revealed that he never played for India after 2008 as the country produced some really good opening batsmen.
“Definitely. I would have loved to play more Tests. Maybe, I was not consistent. I’ve nobody but myself to blame. My decline as an India cricketer coincided with the rise of some astonishing opening batsmen India started to produce. Gradually, I receded into the background”, Jaffer said during an interview with Mumbai Mirror.
The former India opener further described when his form dropped which led to his exclusion. “The 2007-08 Test series in Australia kind of hastened my exit. Mentally, I was not there. The conditions were good for batting, but I wasn’t playing well at all. Brett Lee had my number. He was bowling really well, but I should have done something more to counter him. I strongly believe in destiny. Some things are not meant to happen”, the 42-year-old added.
Wasin Jaffer had a horrible tour of Australia in 2007-08. He managed only 47 runs from six innings. Following this, he had another poor series against South Africa at home, which paved the way for a change at the top of the order. Gautam Gambhir replaced him in the next series against Sri Lanka and went on to become one of the most celebrated Test openers of India.