Overjoyed Jaffer hopes this will be a new beginning in his career

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Kolkata, Nov 30 (UNI) Elated at being able to score a big hundred against Pakistan, Wasim Jaffer hopes it is the beginning of a new innings of consistent run flow from his bat.

Jaffer remained unbeaten on 192, studded with 32 boundaries as he batted through the day negotiationg 255 deliveries. In the process, he notched up his first 100 against Pakistan and fifth in his Test career.

Asked at the post-match press meet how he felt scoring big today, Jaffer said, ''I'm very happy with today's performance. To score a big one against Pakistan is very special. I will try to score a 200 tomorrow and see how long I can carry on.'' On whether he was conscious of the starts he was getting and not converting them, Jaffer said, ''I am conscious of that. I had a few good starts in England and in Ranji but could not convert them. So after I crossed 60 I was very focused. It was a very conscious effort from me to reach the three figure.'' He said he was aware of the lean phases and being dropped, but it taught him a lot. ''I have gone through a lot of lean phases. I have made two-three comebacks. I have gone back to Ranji and again scored big and come back to the Indian side.

This time I plan to score big.'' Does it hurt being dropped? ''It obviously does. But it teaches you a lot too. It teaches you where you got wrong and how you could do better and I come back stronger.'' Do you think this is one of the best innings? He said, ''I have a few hundreds only and all of them are special.

But to get 192 in a day is really something. I was stroking the ball well. I had never scored so big in a day and it was a fluent innings with proper cricketing shots. So I would say it was special in that way,'' Jaffer said.

Asked about the wicket, he said, ''It was on the slower side. It was not like that in Delhi. Pakistan's bowling was also hamstrung by Shoaib Akhtar's illness. But the other bowlers tried their best.'' On whether he would like to compare this with his 212 in Antigua, he said, ''I can't compare them like this. But it feels good to have a good start to the Test and me batting well.'' Asked if he was cautious for the first 30 minutes, Jaffer said, ''Not really, they bowled well and I mean I was getting runs in some parts of the day.'' On his two big partnerships with Rahul David and Sachin Tendulkar, he said, ''It's the mututal understanding.

We pointed out each other's mistakes and egged each other on.'' Asked what he felt on Karthik's failure, he said, ''I know how it feels when you don't score. I have been through that phase. I empathise with all those who fail to score and then get dropped.'' Whether it was a cause for worry? ''Not at all. When India scores 350 plus on day one it's not.'' ''India would like to bat once obviously and put them on a follow-on,'' he said, when asked what would be the team strategy.

On Tendulkar missing yet another Test century, he said, ''We are all sad that Sachin did not get his ton. The whole country must be sad too. Hopefully he gets it soon.'' Asked whether he was planning to cross Laxman's record of 281 here, Jaffer replied jocularly, ''There are so many things in my head, but first let me score a single tomorrow.'' UNI

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