Jaffer’s century goes in vain, twice over
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By the time Wasim Jaffer completed his hundred, the selectors had already announced the squad for the first two Tests against Australia. During the tea break, when he was on 74, Jaffer came to know that the buzz about his possible recall had been a myth. Not him but Shikhar Dhawan had replaced Gautam Gambhir.
Jaffer went back and completed an unbeaten 101 on a fifth day that slowly lost intensity as Rest of India (RoI) retained Irani Trophy on virtue of their first innings lead.
After Sachin Tendulkar's hundred, the match highlight was the showcase of Jaffer's batsmanship. More creditably, his two innings (80 and 101 n.o) came against a group of players fighting to catch the national selectors' eyes.
At 34, Jaffer is doing what he is best at: scoring consistently in domestic cricket. However, it seems the age factor has blocked his road to recall. Before Irani, he had scored 835 runs in Mumbai's Ranji Trophy win. Since 2008, the year he was dropped, Jaffer's season totals read 1549, 801, 940, 406. He moved back to the opening slot for Mumbai this season since his team lacked experienced batsmen to negotiate the new ball. "He is one of the best openers around. He's been scoring well for Mumbai and he makes it easy for the midde-order," says Abhishek Nayar, Mumbai's captain for this match. However, Jaffer is not crying foul, and doesn't look too surprised to see his name missing from the Test side. After all, this isn't the first time he is confronting such news.
"I'm still hoping that somewhere down the line, there is one recall waiting for me. As a batsman I am doing what is needed to make a comeback, scoring runs for the last four years, that's the only thing I know. I'll do my job, let selectors do theirs," Jaffer says.
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