T20 skills must to survive in modern cricket, says Wasim Jaffer

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Veteran Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer over the years has been one of the best batsmen in the domestic circuit. Despite scoring plethora of runs at a consistent rate season after season, he doesn’t have an impressive international CV to vouch for. Jaffer has piled on runs in the Ranji Trophy at an incredible rate but has only managed to play 31 Test matches and two ODIs for India in a career spanning over two decades.

Not the usual power-hitter of the ball, Jaffer is synonymous to a more traditional approach towards batting. With steely resolve and an unmatched temperament, he has played a staggering 253 First-class matches and has amassed a whopping 19147 runs at an incredible average of 51.19. To top that off, he has won as many as ten Ranji Trophy titles – 2 with Vidarbha and 8 with Mumbai.

Having seen Indian cricket evolve over the past decade, Jaffer, who didn’t get enough chances in international cricket, believes the selection dynamics have changed and performing in IPL has become more important than scoring runs in domestic tournaments like Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy. Jaffer also said that if a youngster doesn’t play in the IPL, he is likely to be not given a chance in the national team.

“This is how the system is working now. The times have changed. Nowadays, I feel a player needs to have T20 skills otherwise he is not going to survive,” Jaffer was quoted as saying by Rediff.com.

“No matter how much runs you score in the Ranji Trophy or Duleep Trophy or Irani Trophy, if you don’t have T20 skills in batting or bowling, you are not going to go too far. Obviously, they look into that and they prioritise their game accordingly to suit T20 cricket which I don’t think is their fault. That is how the system works now and they want to get noticed.

“They know if they don’t play the IPL, they won’t get too far. The IPL gives them the benchmark for them to get picked for the Indian team. You can’t blame them because you need to have T20 skills otherwise you are not going to play too much cricket,” he added.

Jaffer yet again played an instrumental role with his bat as he amassed 1037 runs in 15 games this season to help Vidarbha clinch their second successive Ranji Trophy title after beating Saurashtra in the final. With the triumph, Jaffer maintained his flawless record of winning all the Ranji Trophy finals that he has been a part of.

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