An old teammate remembers Wasim Jaffer

Updated: March 8, 2020 1:39:33 am

Wasim Jaffer in motion. (Source: Express Photo)

Wasim Jaffer was a whole package deal, he had all of it — the right method, temperament, calmness, and the class. To play 25 years, retaining the identical starvation he had as a debutant, is completely extraordinary and memorable feat.

I nonetheless bear in mind the day when he walked into the Mumbai dressing room in 1995 to be a part of the group that was about to play a quarter-final towards Tamil Nadu. Next season, in ’96, he made his debut for Mumbai. There was already a buzz about his massive runs in class cricket. He appeared particular within the Mumbai nets classes. It was evident that this boy is right here to remain. I loved Wasim’s firm essentially the most within the dressing room.

His calmness was fairly one thing. You must have a cool head whereas batting. You can’t be scorching headed. He had achieved that calmness.
What I favored about Wasim’s recreation was that he batted in an accurate means, purists’ means as its mentioned. What I cherished most about that high quality is that Wasim dominated oppositions with that method. He had so many ranges to his recreation. Domination will be of any nature — it’s not simply stuffed with photographs (which he had). It may very well be a dominance of stubbornness, domination by piling runs and hitting the gaps.

He performed many nice knocks however two particularly stand out for me, the 2 that I had seen from the opposite finish.

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The 160-odd he scored towards Baroda at Baroda in 2001-02 season. We had an enormous partnership. Mumbai have been 5 for two, I obtained to my hundred in the direction of the top of the day however his 160 had come earlier than tea! It was unbelievable knock. Between lunch and tea, he was hitting three boundaries in an every over.

There is one other knock of 267 towards Delhi in 2005 — arrey, baap-rey-baap! What a knock that was. He simply slammed fours — in only a day, he scored 206 runs. I can nonetheless visualise it — every over, there can be an on drive, straight drive, cowl drive. Three boundaries in every over. I simply laughed from the opposite finish. I mentioned, ‘bhai ka desk tennis chalo hogaya! (Jaffer hit 38 fours and three sixes)

Remember this innings got here within the pre-IPL period. No fancy photographs, simply clear hitting. It was as if he was saying, you bowl, I’ll hit. Few folks earned the respect as he has accomplished throughout groups, nobody has dared to sledge him; such was the respect.

And concern, I might say. Over the years, we within the Mumbai group have heard the opposition fielders say, “bhai ko jaldi nikalo, warna yeh pahuncha dega” (Get him out, else he’ll ship us packing). If any younger era participant needs to be taught the artwork of batsmanship, they need to see Wasim’s batting.

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Wasim was like Buddha in batting. Never confirmed any feelings. Even if he had obtained out for zero or hit 100, his physique language all the time remained cool, ekdum thanda. He didn’t converse a lot, he used to do his work. And his work spoke louder than phrases.

Another admirable high quality was his dedication to the sport itself. He by no means differentiated, gave all of it regardless of the stature of the match or the groups he performed. He could also be batting in Times Shield (the company match), or a neighborhood membership recreation, or for Mumbai, or for India — he by no means compromised, gave all of it. At all ranges, from poppatwadi assaults (simple bowling models) to the hardest, he scored runs in his elegant fashion.

Look, how he scored runs within the latest previous, at this age; and never simply in India, however within the membership and leagues in England. Players like Wasim set a benchmark for themselves; they maintain elevating their recreation all the time. With his expertise, I really feel he ought to have performed for India greater than the 31 Test matches. It wasn’t the correct testimony to his expertise; he might have accomplished higher and scored much more runs. But, on the identical time, I really feel there might be just one Wasimbhai.

(Amol Muzumdar captained Mumbai. He spoke to Devendra Pandey)

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