Jaffer's statement came in the wake of Agarwal's fourth Test ton, which he scored against New Zealand in the ongoing second Test in Mumbai. Unbeaten on 120 at the stroke of stumps on Day 1, the flamboyant opener bailed India out of trouble after the hosts lost three wickets without the addition of a run.
Following the conclusion of Day 1, Wasim Jaffer said that Agarwal; was eager to open for India in the WTC final and on the English tour.
However, after being left out of the Indian team for the WTC final, the Karnataka-born batter suffered a concussion on the eve of the first England Test. That meant he had to be replaced by KL Rahul. Jaffer said about the same:
"Even when he (Mayank) came in the IPL, he was really upset missing the England tour because of his injury. He was really looking forward to playing in the WTC final as well."
"In that manner, he does want to play outside India, and do well. He said to me that the England tour happens once every four years, so he won't get the opportunity again for the next 3-4 years."
The Mumbai legend also lauded Agarwal for his strong character. Jaffer mentioned that he ticks every box in terms of preparation. Describing Agarwal as a 'fiesty' player, Jaffer said:
"He's a fiesty player; he always wants to play whatever the situation you put him in. He does all the hard yards, whether it be batting for long hours, or his training or his fitness. He ticks all the boxes as far as preparation goes."
"That is correct; if Ajinkya would've been fit, Mayank Agarwal could've missed out" - Wasim Jaffer
While noting how Mayank Agarwal grabbed his opportunity with both hands, Jaffer lauded him for his 'gritty character' and not taking a backward step during his innings. Jaffer commended Agarwal's positive approach against the spinners, especially Ajaz Patel, saying:
"Mayank played fantastically well against Ajaz Patel. That is correct; if Ajinkya would've been fit, he (Mayank) could've missed out. But he grabbed that opportunity with both hands. He's a gritty character and a fighter."
"He knew that this innings would be very vital for him, and he made the most of it. Out of all batters, he played Ajaz Patel, the best. Even when wickets were falling, he never took a backward step, (which is a) hallmark of how well he played spin(ners) today."
After the first session was scrapped due to rain, only 70 overs were possible on Day 1. Opting to bat first after winning the toss, India reached 221-4 at stumps on Day 1, with Wriddhiman Saha (25*) giving company to Mayank Agarwal (120*). Day 2 will start at 9:30 AM IST tomorrow.