Veteran Indian batsman Wasim Jaffer has revealed that he was ‘very close to getting selected’ for the Indian Test side in 2013, in and around the time when Shikhar Dhawan made his debut in the longest format. Jaffer had a stellar Ranji trophy season in 2012/13, where he scored 835 runs @ 75.90.
The Indian selectors phased Wasim Jaffer out of national selection post the 2008 Test series at home versus South Africa, but that didn’t stop the Mumbai stalwart, who, despite not being in the picture of national selection, continued piling on the runs in domestic cricket. Months after getting axed from the Indian Test side, Jaffer amassed a remarkable 1260 runs (average 84.00) in the 2008/09 Ranji season and then followed the stellar showing up with a fine 638-run campaign in 2009/10, in which he averaged 53.16.
Despite the Mumbaikar tearing the domestic circuit apart, there were no signs of the selectors handing a recall to Jaffer who, by 2010, was into his mid 30s. However, almost a decade on, the 42-year-old has now revealed that he was, in fact, ‘very close to selection’ post the 2012/13 Ranji campaign which saw him amass 835 runs @ 75.90. But, as it turned out, Jaffer was snubbed to accommodate Shikhar Dhawan, who made history by striking a stunning 187 on Test debut.
"In 2012-13, I was very close to getting selected when Shikhar Dhawan got selected. So, I came very close a couple of times but somehow I missed the bus. The selectors are the best people who can answer that but I definitely kept knocking the door," Jaffer said while speaking on Sports Tiger's show 'Off the Field', reported TOI.
Despite being the highest run-getter in the history of Ranji Trophy, Jaffer represented India in only 31 Tests, the last of which came in 2008. The right-hander, who has two Test double centuries to his name, admitted that it was his inconsistency which led to his downfall and claimed that he would have played 100 Tests had he maintained consistency.
"I wasn't that consistent. If I was, I would have played more than 100 Test matches. I was not that consistent at the international level that is why I got dropped.
"I am famous for my first-class career more than the international cricket that I have played,” Jaffer said.
The 42-year-old announced his retirement as a player earlier this year but wasted no time into transitioning as a coach. Weeks before the pandemic broke out, it was announced that Jaffer would be taking over the head coach responsibilities for Uttarakhand. While the Covid-19 virus outbreak has forced the BCCI to look at a truncated domestic season, Jaffer, however, is of the opinion that four tournaments, including the Irani Trophy, can be fit into the season, with the Ranji Trophy serving as the curtain-raiser.
"I feel the season should start in October with the Ranji Trophy. It should be ideally followed by the Irani Trophy and after that, a T20 tournament like Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy can be put in place as it is the time when the auction happens. A number of franchise people can see the tournament and scout new talent. Finally, finish the season with Vijay Hazare Trophy."