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Jaffer steps down as Mumbai captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 2, 2012

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Wasim Jaffer drives during his half-century, Mumbai v Punjab, Ranji Trophy Elite, Mumbai, 2nd day, December 22, 2011
Wasim Jaffer: "Batting is more important than captaincy" © Fotocorp
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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.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

We don't really know what happened behind closed doors of dressing room, but if both Agarkar and Jaffer are falling out from team in single season, something is seriously wrong with the management. In any case, Agarkar, the lead bowler, is outside the team due to non-creating reasons and suddenly the back to back Ranji are not good enough and Jaffer's captaincy is being questioned. This is really sad for common Mumbai Cricket fans like us.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

Avg of 45 is lean run..funny Indian pitches & funny batsmen..lol

Posted by Rajesh. on (February 2, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

Former India Opener -- Doesn't sound nice. This guy is still the best opener in the country.

Posted by jals on (February 2, 2012, 19:39 GMT)

Sad to hear from coach such comments against the player like Jaffer. All the best Jaffer, still u r No.1 opener in Indian cricket and a good Ranji captain.

Posted by   on (February 2, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

Bring back Agarkar and make him the captain

Posted by bvnathan on (February 2, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

If Wasim approach during the concluded Rani season was "defensive" - what was the Mumbai coach doing the whole time - whaling away his time or sleeping in the comfort of the dressing room? May bethe coach doesn't want to take the blame or be part of responsibility for the teams performance

This communication approach is not only hindrance in Indian Sports, but also clearly visiible in all forms of the Indian work enviornment too.

Posted by   on (February 2, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

Mumbai cricket unfortunately is going through a really bad period and the only person responsible for this is the coach. The way senior players like Agarkar and Jaffer have been treated this year leaves a lot to be desired. The coach should be changed and I think Jaffer made an excellent condition for Ranji Trophy which is a tournament played with a defensive mindset only. I think Amol Majumdar should be made the next captain, Jaffer should bat at 3 and Agarkar should lead the bowling attack.

Posted by mehulmatrix on (February 2, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

Fully agree with Wasim on the front of communication.Wonder how can you comment on someone of the team with you in the paper and not sit & talk with him. And whos he? the coach himself! really rubbish on his part. Very mature from Wasim for not throwing out a tantrum like Ajit and running off. Its important to be in the team. I think he will come good ahead. What is the cricket board doing about such incidents?

Posted by tanstell87 on (February 2, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

Amol Muzumdar will be back next season....Nayar is a good option...but Mumbai needs to find out good openers in absence of Rahane & Rohit...good luck from a khadus Mumbaikar !

Posted by mithun2880 on (February 2, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

If someone is to be blamed to what's happening in Mumbai cricket is Mr.Sulakshan Kulkarni !!! It was a disaster to appoint him as the Mumbai Coach over Sanjay Bangar, and the Mumbai team managment needs to seriously thinking about sacking Silly(Sullu) Kulkarni. Mumbai team does not want a coach who has already created a gap with the seniors like Agarkar-Jaffer....n now critisizing them in public !!! Pathetic.....The core players shud be the same, keep Jaffer as the leader bring back Agarkar, groom new players under them and may be in couple of years time the seniors can move on....Mr.Silly Kulkarni, there is a lot of difference between having a school boys nets n training and coaching a World class domestic unit, please leave as we don't won't more mess in Mumbai cricket !!!

Posted by Sachit1979 on (February 2, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

Mumbai got hurted badly in bowling department after Zaheer went for national duties and Ajit Agarkar tore himself apart from the team.

Posted by PointFielder on (February 2, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

I am disappointed by Sulakshan's comments. I just cannot see how Wasim lacks captaincy attitude. He is a prolific Ranji cricketer and one of the most experienced playing in Ranji, Did not Mumbai make yet another Ranji semi final. Does not Wasim deserves a credit for that, if he is going to get the flak for losing semi finals. What about Sulakshan being so dismissive about Ajit Agarkar. Did not that decision weaken the team. IMO he is being made a scapegoat now. Previous Mumbai coaches have resigned when Mumbai lost the finals. Now the trend has changed. The captain has stepped out and coach thinks he is not as responsible as the captain. If Chandrakant Pandit was not given the directors post of RCA, i would have liked him to see as the Mumbai Ranji coach. As for the captaincy i doubt Rohit would be the ideal choice because Rohit has more chances of being busy for international duties than he was in previous years. Abhishek Nayar is another captaincy candidate.

Posted by OkyaBokya on (February 2, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

Go with Abhishek Nayar. Rohit wont be available for Mumbai.

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