Former India opener Wasim Jaffer has rued the lack of opportunities being given to the players of Vidarbha by the national selectors. Vidarbha have won the last two editions of the Ranji Trophy but it has not made much of a difference for its players as far as chances of making it to other teams are concerned. Even if some players got a chance, they were not persisted with.
Fast-bowler Rajneesh Gurbani, who was the highest wicket-taker in the 2017-18 season, was rewarded with a place in the India A side. However, he was soon overlooked after its tour of New Zealand in 2018-19. Faiz Fazal earned his maiden call-up from the senior Indian team in 2016 and went on to make his debut. But it was the only game he has played so far and looks unlikely to get another recall anytime soon.
Umesh Yadav is the only player from Vidarbha who has been getting regular chances. However, he too is not a regular name in the playing eleven now. The fast-bowler last played an international match in February this year. Things are not improving even now and Wasim Jaffer had to speak out on it. The veteran batsman said that the selectors need to give the Vidarbha players a chance at the India A and Duleep Trophy levels. He also said that the players need to get a chance in the Indian Premier League.
“None of the Vidarbha players get selected in the IPL. That’s a major setback for them. Players like Akshay Wakhare and Akshay Karnewar never got a chance to showcase their skill. They have good performances but not at the IPL level which has a lot of bigger eyes,” Wasim Jaffer Jaffer told Sportstar.
“Faiz Fazal scored runs consistently, but he hasn’t got the opportunity. It surprises me; he has fitness, runs against good teams when it matters. [Aditya] Sarwate just had a handful of opportunities. Ganesh Satish is not even in the Duleep Trophy. And [Akshay] Karnewar’s exclusion really surprises me; he’s played some important knocks, and performed really well in the Ranji Trophy final and the Irani Trophy,” he added.
Wasim Jaffer on Duleep Trophy selections
In the recently-concluded Duleep Trophy, only four players – Fazal, Wadkar, Sarwate and Wakhare – got a chance. Speaking about the selection, Wasim Jaffer said that more players should have got opportunities.
“They have picked themselves. No surprise. Selectors should also have considered Karnewar and Satish. Gurbani is perhaps considered not at international level. For half of the 2018-19 season, he was in New Zealand with the India ‘A’ squad; he played most of his matches [in the Ranji Trophy] on flat tracks. There was hardly anything he could do.”
He further urged the selectors to think out of the box. The opening batsman cited the example of the likes of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya to state that the selectors need to back the talents from Vidarbha.
“Selectors need to think out of the box. They need to see temperaments also and need to back those talents. Just as they saw potential in Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya; these players hadn’t played too many domestic matches when they were selected for the Indian team. But the selectors saw potential in them,” Jaffer opined.
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