Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer has questioned the selectors for constantly ignoring Vidarbha players for selection despite excelling at the domestic level. The likes of Faiz Fazal, Akshay Wakhare, and Aditya Sarwate were not picked for the India 'A' side despite exceptional domestic returns.
After Saurashtra player Sheldon Jackson launched a scathing attack on the selectors last week for overlooking Saurashtra players, Wasim Jaffer has now come forward and expressed his discontentment over the treatment of Vidarbha players, after none of the players from the state made the India 'A' team for their series against South Africa 'A'.
Jaffer also expressed his disappointment over IPL franchises snubbing budding talents from Vidarbha, stating that it takes away their chance to showcase their skill on a global platform. “None of the Vidarbha players get selected in the IPL. That’s a major setback for them. Players like Akshay Wakhare and Akshay Karnewar never got a chance to showcase their skill. They have good performances but not at the IPL level which has a lot of bigger eyes,” Jaffer told Sportstar.
“Faiz Fazal scored runs consistently, but he hasn’t got the opportunity. It surprises me; he has fitness, runs against good teams when it matters. [Aditya] Sarwate just had a handful of opportunities. Ganesh Satish is not even in the Duleep Trophy. And [Akshay] Karnewar's exclusion really surprises me; he’s played some important knocks, and performed really well in the Ranji Trophy final and the Irani Trophy,” he added.
While a bunch of Vidarbha players did make the Duleep Trophy squad, Jaffer also noted that Akshay Karnewar and Rajneesh Gurbani were unlucky to miss out on selection. He added that there wasn't much more the duo could do to get a call from the selectors. “They have picked themselves. No surprise," Jaffer spoke of the Vidarbha players who made the Duleep Trophy squads.
"Selectors should also have considered Karnewar and Satish. Gurbani is perhaps considered not at international level. For half of the 2018-19 season, he was in New Zealand with the India ‘A’ squad; he played most of his matches [in the Ranji Trophy] on flat tracks. There was hardly anything he could do,” he added.
Jaffer also insisted on the need for the selectors to keep thinking out of the box when it comes to picking players. He then pointed out at the examples of Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli and encouraged them to also reward players based on their potential.
“Selectors need to think out of the box. They need to see temperaments also, and need to back those talents," he said.
"Just as they saw potential in Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya; these players hadn’t played too many domestic matches when they were selected for the Indian team. But the selectors saw potential in them,” Jaffer concluded.