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February 2, 2012
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer has stepped down from his position as captain of the Mumbai Ranji team in order to focus on his batting. Jaffer had captained Mumbai in the Ranji trophy over the past four seasons and under him, Mumbai emerged winners in 2008-09 and 2009-10. However, Mumbai failed to make the Ranji final this season, losing to Tamil Nadu in the semi-final.
"I want to concentrate more on my batting. I didn't have a good Ranji Trophy season and for me batting is more important than captaincy," Jaffer told the Indian Express. Jaffer had been struggling throughout the season, recording an aggregate of 406 runs in nine matches across twelve innings with just one century.
"Once you are captain it is very important to lead by example," Jaffer said. "The word 'captain' is only nice to say but it's a lot of pressure to lead a team. If the team doesn't do well, then the captain is always made a scapegoat. When you don't score, it doesn't look good."
Jaffer was dismissed for zero in the semi-final and managed just one run in the quarter-final against Madhya Pradesh. After Mumbai were knocked out of the tournament, coach Sulakshan Kulkarni said that one of the "biggest factors" behind Mumbai's loss was Jaffer's batting. "We needed him the most in the last two matches. It was a big loss to us." Kulkarni was also critical of Jaffer's leadership, calling him a "defensive captain with defensive approach".
"I was disappointed, I'm not a perfect captain," Jaffer said of the coach's remarks. "Everybody makes mistakes; if there was any problem I should have been told inside the dressing-room, not in public. I was never told about my captaincy the entire season.
"Suddenly I was told I lacked attitude. Four months ago I was the best captain and after losing I'm no good."
Jaffer said that India batsman Rohit Sharma, if available, would be the best choice to lead Mumbai in the next season, but said that "whoever is picked, should be given adequate time".
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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