Mumbai v Saurashtra, Ranji Trophy, final, 2nd day January 27, 2013

Jaffer breaks record for most Ranji Trophy centuries


Mumbai's Wasim Jaffer has added more lustre to his glorious Ranji Trophy career by breaking the record for most centuries in the tournament. Jaffer's hundred against Saurashtra on the second day of the final at the Wankhede Stadium was his 32nd, taking him past former Delhi batsman Ajay Sharma's tally.

"I feel very happy about it, scoring a hundred in the final means a lot, specially chasing a target," Jaffer said. "We're still six down, happy that I've got a hundred, the team is in a good position.

"For the first 2-3 days it is going to help the fast bowlers. Their bowlers bowled really well in the first session, they didn't give much, especially Unadkat," Jaffer said. "It wasn't that easy, once we survived that first session, then it became a bit easy, playing the first session well was critical. A 200-run lead would ideal, if that can happen we will be in a strong position."

During the innings Jaffer also reclaimed the record for most runs in the Ranji Trophy, moving ahead of his former Mumbai team-mate Amol Muzumdar, who had overtaken Jaffer earlier this season. Muzumdar was on television commentary when Jaffer broke the record for most runs, as he had been when Jaffer went past him for the first time in 2011. "Well done, Wasim," Muzumdar said on air. "But it's a cat-and-mouse game. I broke his record earlier in the season, now he has got it back."

Jaffer also went past 16,000 runs in first-class cricket and this century will be particularly pleasing for him, not just because it came in the final of India's most prestigious first-class tournament, but because he scored it in a big match, after failing in the quarter-finals and semi-finals in pervious seasons. Mumbai's coach Sulakshan Kulkarni had said that Jaffer's low scores in those two games was one of the biggest factors behind the team not winning the title.

It also gave Mumbai the first-innings lead and kept them on course to become Ranji champions for the 40th time. If Mumbai win, this will be Jaffer's eighth trophy; the most Ranji title wins by any other team is seven, by Delhi.

Saurashtra are among Jaffer's favourite opposition. In 11 matches against them, he has two triple-centuries and five other hundreds. It was his unbeaten 314 against Saurashtra in only his second Ranji match, back in 1996-97, that spurred his Mumbai career, which has now lasted 17 seasons.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Desmond on January 30, 2013, 1:36 GMT

    Wasim Jaffer scored 132 but the next best is 55. He played very fast with Sachin after lunch (between 100-150 at least). So considering the pitch and runs made by others, this century scored in difficult conditions in the finals is really worth in gold. Why cannot he be given an opportunity to open in tests again? Use players who are in form whether batting (in difficult conditions) or bowling (on flat pitches).

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Of all the players listed, only VVS had a decent International (Test) career. Are we trying to project the sorry state of our domestic series.

  • syed on January 29, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    Congrats Jaffer. I feels this time you will get chance in Indian test team. Definately Mr. Sandeep Patil will you a break.

  • krithivasan on January 29, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    Mukund/rohit and jaffer can be tried in australia series...This would be the last opportunity to try a new opening pair before leaving to South Africa

  • Akhil on January 29, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Jaffer deserves another chance. Surely he can replace chancy sehwag or edgy gambhir who have been nothing but failures in the long format. Hoping selectors can move away from favoritism and pick players based on current form & performance. Abhinav Mukund is another such candidate. Infact pick them both and drop Gambhir & Sehwag for the first two tests. This should teach the seniors a lesson who often seem to take their spots for granted.

  • Munawar on January 28, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    In fact on present form, Jaffer is a better bet than both Sehwag and Gambhir by miles. One poor series in Australia, and he was dropped forever. If one bad series is a reason to be dropped forever, then how about Gambhir? He has failed consistently with dismal averages over the last three years years.

    If you look at Mukund, Gambhir, Rahane and Vijay they look bunnies in front of Jaffer given his temperament, skills, technique, range of shots, composure, style, experience and record. Ganguly is right when he says Jaffer is one of the two best openers in the country at this moment.

    And Jaffer is only 35 which means he has three - four years left to contribute to Indian cricket.

    Hope likes of Sandeep Patil, Saba Karim, Vikram Rathore, RS Hans and Roger Binny are listening and are willing to undo the gross injustices done to Jaffer over such a long period of time. Come on selectors...think about the country and give Jaffer his due. Hope Sunny, Shas and Sachin help.

  • Rezwan on January 28, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    I think Wasim Jaffer and Hashim Amla belong to the same category of batsmen. Both have amazing temperament, composure, skill, and style; and both didn't succeed in their first opportunity. The difference is that South Africa gave Amla another chance; and India didn't. The result is Hashim Amla has been the most significant contributor in South Africa's recent success, while India has one of the worst opening pairs in world cricket & massively struggling. I hope Wasim Jaffer gets another chance; a little prolonged one, so that his talent & skill benefits Indian cricket team.

  • Sriram on January 28, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    That lad Sridharan Sharath must be one of many unluckiest domestic cricketer. He was the backbone of TN team, much like what Badri has been doing and never made it to International. There must be many more such stories in Ranji. Hopefully oneday Aakash Chopra writes about these unsung Ranji heroes.

  • Dav on January 28, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    India's problem in the recent years is that they give chance again and again to big names.pujara hitting hundred and hundreds in ranji and got his place in team after 2 years. Even if sehwag hit 50 or 80 in domestic he will be back in ODIs. I think the test XI against austrailia best suited is 1.Wasim jaffer 2.Gautam gambhir 3.C pujara 4.Virat kohli 5.S raina 6.Y singh 7.Ms dhoni(C & WK) 8.R ashwin 9.P ojha 10.B kumar 11.P kumar

  • Al on January 27, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    Jaffer in his current form is better than Sehwag and Gambhir. I remember he did quite well in India's trip to South Africa in 2006-07. He had one bad series in Australia, and he was dropped, never to be given a chance again. If one bad series is a reason to be dropped forever, then what about Gambhir and Sehwag? They have been failing consistently for the past 2 years. Those 2 should have been dropped long time ago.