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Jaffer shocked at inclusion for ODIs
Harish Kotian | October 30, 2006 23:20 IST
Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer on Monday said he was shocked at his inclusion in the Indian team for the one-day international series in South Africa.
"I was kind of shocked. I was expecting to be selected for the Test team, but the one-day selection came as a bit of surprise," he told rediff.com.
Jaffer was playing for West Zone against Sri Lanka 'A' in the Duleep Trophy at the Barabati stadium in Cuttack when the team was named.
"I was batting when the team was announced. I only got to know when I came back for lunch and people said Zaheer [Khan] and I were selected for the one-dayers," the West Zone skipper said.
Jaffer celebrated the good news in style, hitting a century. He played an aggressive knock of 129 from 137 balls with 15 boundaries and two sixes, something the selectors would be hoping he can replicate in South Africa.
"It was a good day for me. I was selected for the one-day team and I got a hundred too. But unfortunately I could not save the match," said the right-hander.
Till now, he has played 14 Tests for a modest record of 883 runs at 33.96. But in 2006, he has enjoyed a great run in Test matches, having amassed 622 runs at 47.85, including a double century in the West Indies.
Jaffer, who is yet to play a one-dayer for India, said he will try and prepare his game to suit the shorter version.
"It's very different to Test matches. I will need to prepare accordingly. I will have time with the team to practice my one-day skills and to learn and play aggressively," Jaffer said.
The 29-year-old added that he is ready to bat any position, but not lower than five.
"I am ready to bat in any position. But as everyone knows I am not a slogger, so I wouldn't prefer batting six or lower. Maybe my preferred position would be anywhere between 1 and 5," Jaffer said.
The prospect of facing South African pacers on seamer-friendly wickets is not bothering Jaffer even one bit. "I will prepare myself accordingly. Before going to the West Indies and Pakistan too, I prepared myself and was ready for the conditions," he said.
Jaffer, who was selected ahead of other contenders like Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and V V S Laxman, said it would be a huge challenge and a good opportunity to prove himself.
"It will be a huge challenge, but I will try my best," he said.