The drama between Sanjay Manjrekar and Ravindra Jadeja has all the more grown since the World Cup last year. Majrekar labelled Jadeja as a ‘bit and pieces’ player ahead of the World Cup to which the left-hander replied with a tremendous half-century in the semi-final versus New Zealand and gestured towards the commentary box.
Manjrekar has since addressed Jadeja – in vague or direct words – as not good enough to walk in the eleven purely as a batsman. Ahead of this series, he said that both Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja would not be in his line-up.
“My selection and thoughts are based on a principle that I have learnt over the years: if you have specialists who can walk-in based on one discipline, you fill your team with those players. I do not have a problem with Jadeja; I have a problem with his kind of cricketers in white-ball cricket. Even Hardik Pandya will not be in my team. They add illusionary value to the team,” Sanjay Manjrekar had told The Hindu.
Want him to pick more wickets in ODIs: Sanjay Manjrekar
Both Hardik and Jadeja have silenced their detractors who questioned their place in the team as a batsman. Putting on a 150-run stand in 18 overs in the 3rd ODI, the duo took India to a defendable total. The men in blue won the game by 13 runs. Jadeja scored a 50-ball 66 and displayed his array of shots against the Aussie pacers in the last 5 overs.
After the game, Manjrekar lauded Jadeja for his mature batting as he took the pressure off from Hardik. The commentator acknowledged that only because of the partnership between the two lower-order batsmen, India managed a total which kept them in the game.
Talking to the broadcaster, Sony, Manjrekar said, “I thought he also took some pressure off Hardik Pandya, one of his best one-day innings we have seen in a long time. Only because of his flourish with the bat with Pandya, India were able to compete.”
However, Manjrekar also pointed out that while Jadeja was excellent with the bat, he still needs to pick more wickets in ODIs as he is playing the role of the fifth bowler as well.
The former India batsman has observed improvement in the left-hander’s batting in the last year, although, he believes that Jadeja can do better with the ball. Nonetheless, Manjrekar tips his hat off to Jadeja’s performance with the bat in the third ODI.
“I want him to pick more wickets with the ball. I have said this about Jadeja a lot in the last one year, there’s been a steady improvement in the way he has been batting, but his bowling needs to improve a bit more to win matches for India. But purely on his batting performance today, hats off, brilliant,” Sanjay Manjrekar added.
Both the teams will lock horns in the first T20I on Friday in Canberra. For the hosts, David Warner has been ruled out of the T20I series with a groin injury, and Pat Cummins is rested.