Q: Who were the toughest bowlers who faced in domestic cricket?
Jaffer: It will be difficult. A lot of players from the past. It will be interesting actually.... (long pause). I need to remember.
Q: Javagal Srinath at his peak?
Jaffer: I did not face him. I was with him in the Test squad.
Q: Anil Kumble?
Jaffer: I have faced him but very few times. It will be difficult to be say one particular bowler. When I started there were so many spinners... Sunil Joshi for one, Venkatapathy Raju, Rajesh Chauhan. Lately the quality of spinners has gone down because of IPL and Twenty20 cricket. Now the fast bowlers are looking at speedometres and want to bowl fast. Everyone wants to bowl 140kph plus. It is nice to see.
Cricket has changed now since the time I started. Earlier, everyone used to tell a batsman to bat the whole day and get a hundred. That was considered very nice. Now you see batsmen playing so many shots. Now you don't see many bat through the day and just get hundred. Probably they will end up 150 or 160 in a day. Times have changed and cricket has changed. Hopefully it is a change for good.
Q: Do you remember your Test debut. How was it facing Allan Donald and co?
Jaffer: I do remember. I was very young then. It did not go as I wanted it to go. Even then getting India cap remains always special. My father always dreamed of me playing for India because he worked so hard for me to get there.
I came from a lower middle-class family and in those years getting a cricket bat or any cricket equipment was a big hard work. Everybody in my family wanted me to play for India. They wanted things to turn around for good with me playing for India. Even though I did not do well in that Test and series, getting India cap remains always special.
Q: Does Ranji Trophy performance still hold the same significance as before for India selection?
Jaffer: More than the Ranji Trophy performance, if you can back that with good showing in IPL, it will get highlighted bit more. It happened with a lot of players. At the end of the day, it is destiny (selection). If score in front of right people at right time, it gets noticed more.
The year before, Robin Bist got 1,000 runs in Ranji Trophy but he could not play IPL and he faded away. It is very sad. To get a 1,000 runs and win the Ranji Trophy and not get selected anywhere is really sad. I know how much it takes for a player to get 1,000 runs or 50 wickets in a season. After that if you don't get enough opportunities to prove yourself it gets really sad. Not every year you get 1,000 runs or 50 wickets.