Wasim Jaffer is obviously tickled by his debut appearance in a one-day international squad but India’s Test opener was adamant that the news, though “very nice”, was completely unexpected.
“Honestly speaking, it has taken me by surprise,” Jaffer told HT from Cuttack, where he turned out for West Zone against Sri Lanka A in a Duleep Trophy game.
“I was walking back to the dressing room at lunch and someone made an announcement on the PA system that Zaheer and I had made the squad for the South Africa tour. I thought the Test squad had also been announced and it wasn’t a surprise but when I walked into the dressing room and saw the TV, I realised it was the one-day squad. I was stunned.”
Jaffer said that as he had played only one Deodhar Trophy game for West, he knew he wasn’t really considered a one-day player even though he had turned out for Mumbai in the Ranji one-dayers. “Having said that, I don’t think I cannot play one-day cricket and I am sure I would enjoy it,” he said.
“It’s just that I was somewhat stunned.” He said that he wasn’t quite sure what prompted the selectors to take a chance with him but he believed it was to do with his performance in Tests. “I had a good series against England. I think they were happy with the way I have handled the new ball and maybe that is what made the difference.”
He also said that while he would obviously love to make the one-day XI, he was looking forward to going early and acclimatising himself to South African conditions ahead of the Test series. “Actually, I was all keyed up for the Test series, completely focussed on that, so I’ll now have to readjust a bit. But I am really looking forward to the challenge.”