‘Wasim Jaffer was my favorite cricketer. I always placed him above other legends’: India star’s unusual pick

During Wasim Jaffer’s career, Indian cricket was dominated by the Fab 5. For many years, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman were the backbone of Indian Test batting. This made it nearly impossible for anyone else to present a case for themselves.

Despite this, Jaffer managed to score 1944 runs from 31 Tests, including five centuries and 11 fifties. India’s best score was 212 against West Indies in 2006, followed by 202 against Pakistan at home the following year. In 2007, Jaffer scored one of his finest hundreds against South Africa in Cape Town.

I was encouraged to bowl fast by my mother, who would say, ‘Khel, tod” – Umran Malik

The veteran Mumbai batter’s international career didn’t achieve the heights that his domestic career for Mumbai and Vidarbha did, but star India rounder Hardik Pandya revealed that Jaffer was his favorite cricketer growing up. As a child, Pandya idolized Mumbai veteran Jaffer more than any other legend, including Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman.

Jacques Kallis, Virat, Sachin sir. There are so many greats in cricket that it’s impossible to choose. My favourite cricketer was Wasim Jaffer. I used to love watching him bat. Someone I always placed him above other legends. I tried to copy his batting, but I was never able to get his class,” Hardik said on the SG podcast.

As kids, Hardik and Krunal were different players, so there was no sibling rivalry between the two. Instead, they motivated each other to keep improving. “Krunal and I are each other’s backbone,” Hardik said. Besides cricket, we talk about many things. “I would have taken it six years ago if you had asked me that both of you brothers would play for India together,” Hardik added.

Krunal and I played completely different styles of cricket. My opponent was a left-handed batter who could also bowl, while I bowled leg spin and batted right-handed. My former position was No. 3 and his was No. 4-5. Our roles were always different, so we didn’t get into a rivalry. I played at the Under-16 level, he at the Under-19 level. The best way to improve is to make sure we work together in all departments.”