05 January 2008

Why Jaffer needs a media guy

Wasim Jaffer came to Australia on the back of a very good year. He made runs against Ntini, Pollock, Nel, Mashrafe Mortaza, Syed Rasel, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Tremlett, Shoaib Akthar and Mohammed Sami. In 10 Test matches in 2007, he averages 46.55 with three hundreds that include a double against Pakistan at home.

This means that he has batted at least as good as Alastair Cook and Jayasuriya have for the last couple of years. He has been much better than Grame Smith and Chris Gayle have. The only opening batsman who has done better than him over the last ten Test matches has been Mathew (Alone at the Top) Hayden.

Jaffer has failed thrice this series and there is a clamour for his exclusion from the side at Perth. Apparently we need to take the attack to Australia and Jaffer is incapable of doing so. Not only that, he is said to lack the technique required for horizontal strokeplay, which is so important to flourish in Australia. And the conclusion that the experts are only too easy to arrive at is that Jaffer is keeping Sehwag out of the side.

Jaffer's double at Kolkata came off 270 balls.

Life has been tough on Veeru and it was unfair to drop him from the Test side when he was. However, cricket selection is not about correcting historical wrongs. Having already unfairly glossed over the claims of his Delhi mates Gautam Gambhir and Akash Chopra, everything should not be given to Sehwag on a platter. Not when Jaffer and Karthik have been a prolific opening combo over the past year. It was a mistake to break them up, but that does not justify an even bigger one.

Jaffer's problem is that he does not give off the "confident vibe" which Yuvraj seems to ooze without effort, or Sehwag is rumoured to bring into the batting order, and is an easy scapegoat. He needs to start wearing shades and start talking more maybe. Or at least louder and in better English.

7 comments:

Uncle J rod said...

I do think Jaffer is a good bat, but right at the moment he needs a coach, or maybe even a player to sit him down and remind him he can play, cause he is looking shocking.

Ashok said...

I appreciate your effort to highlight Jaffer's case. But your suggestion is disturbing.

Should the ability to speak English be a desirable qualification for a place in the Indian cricket team? To suggest that cricketers should be media-savvy (hire professionals, or themselves learn to speak well) is to play right into the hands of television channels. What next? Cricketers should be telegenic?

In a country where cricket is a mass sport, cricket-loving individual bloggers (of the 'independent' media) should see through the gloss and argue for better cricket, not more celebritisation.

I follow your blog regularly. It would be great if you share your insights on the social aspects of Indian cricket once in a while.

John said...

Thanks, Ashok. Just to clarify, I was being extremely sarcastic.
I am not much into the sociology/ anthropology aspects of cricket, but if I notice something, I will bring it up.

Uncle J Rod. Ya, Jaffer needs some tough love.

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John said...

And Ashok, Soulberry who writes at http://tcwj.blogspot.com, and Kaushik who writes at htpp://dailycric.blogspot.com seem to enjoy writing about the anthropological and sociological aspects of the game.

Ashok said...

:) I missed that googly! Thank you for the links, Aju.

Soulberry said...

John, I accept your defence of Jaffer. But now he needs a breather. There is a gap now and a practice match but the tour could be called off.