Indian cricket expert Sanjay Manjrekar has stated that picking Ravindra Jadeja for his batting, something he has always been against, backfired in the WTC Final against New Zealand. He also added that had India picked Hanuma Vihari, they might well have ended with a better score.
A lot has been made of India’s composition in the WTC Final after their loss against New Zealand. Ravindra Jadeja’s selection, who played as a spinning all-rounder in the side, has been scrutinized the most. He bowled a total of 15.2 overs in the game and came up with scores of 15 and 16 with the bat. Jadeja faced a lot of heat for his first-innings display where he wasn’t able to shield the tail-enders and didn’t show much intent. A lot of experts have argued that India would have been better off with either a specialist batter or a specialist pacer in place of the southpaw.
Now, former Indian cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar has weighed in on the ongoing debate and suggested that picking Jadeja for his batting rather than spin bowling wasn’t the right move and it’s been something that he has never supported.
“If you have to look at how India went about before the game started, picking two spinners was always a debatable selection especially when the conditions were overcast and the toss was delayed by a day. They picked one player for his batting, which was Jadeja, and his left-arm spin wasn’t the reason he was picked. He was picked for his batting and that is something that I am always against,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo, reported India Today.
Manjrekar, who has always advocated for the selection of specialist players in the side, further added that it would have made sense to pick Jadeja if it was a dry wicket and remarked that the ploy backfired in the marquee clash.
“You have got to pick specialist players in the team and if they felt that the pitch was dry and turning, they would have picked Jadeja for his left-arm spin, along with Ashwin, that would have made sense. But they picked him for his batting and I think that backfired as mostly it does,” Manjrekar added.
The last time when Hanuma Vihari featured for India, he had played a major role in a classic draw against Australia at the SCG. The former Indian batsman stated had Vihari played for India, they might well have ended with a better second innings score.
“Had they had a specialist batsman in Hanuma Vihari for example, who had a pretty good defence, that would have been handy. Maybe 170 could have been 220, 225 or 230, who knows?” he added.