Ganguly, who was at the Wankhede Stadium for a television programme, witnessed the last half-an-hour of Mumbai’s batting against Odisha on Day One. “Terrific. He is simply brilliant. He keeps on piling runs,” the former India skipper said of Jaffer.
When asked whether Jaffer has a chance to make a comeback, Ganguly said: “It looks difficult. No matter however much he scores in domestic cricket, it will be very difficult for the selectors to pick him again. Players like Virender Sehwag too are struggling to find a place in the Indian team again. But Jaffer is a great guy. with a very sound technique.”
Last season too Jaffer, despite having another good season with the bat, was overlooked in the Test side. It was considered to be a golden opportunity for Jaffer to make a comeback after regular openers Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir lost form.
Is age the deciding factor? “I would not like to think so. The scenario in India for a batsman is, if you are out of the list, it is a massive climb up. For the bowlers, you can still survive in the team with three wickets in three or four games.
“Selectors, in most cases, would always look to give youngsters an opportunity rather than preferring someone like Jaffer. He may have an outside chance (to make a comeback), but it is difficult.
“Unfortunately, that is how it is. Take the example of Australia’s Brad Hogg (42), who plays for Rajasthan Royals. He scores tons in their domestic cricket, but never gets picked for the Test team again. Hogg has played only seven Test matches. So, Jaffer’s case is at least better… he has played 31 Tests,” said Ganguly.
Ganguly refrained from talking about the future of Sehwag, who is currently going through a rough patch. “We have to wait for another 15 months. Let the foreign tours get over and then we will see. Nothing can be said at the moment,” he said.
‘Not interested in politics’
Meanwhile, Ganguly turned down Bharitya Janata Party’s offer to contest for a Lok Sabha seat. “Yes, I was offered. But I have said no. I have no interest in politics. My place is here,” said Ganguly pointing to the cricket field.