WTC Final: Hanuma Vihari could have been better choice in Ravindra Jadeja’s pick as batting specialist, feels Sanjay Manjrekar: Fingers are still pointed straight at the Indian batsmen for their poor performance in the World Test Championship final in Southampton where New Zealand won by eight wickets. The off-colour show from Jadeja especially with the bat was bought to the light by Indian cricketer turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, who mentioned Hanuma Vihari as a better choice than Ravindra Jadeja when it drills to a batting specialist.
Elucidating on the selector’s pick, Manjrekar said that Jadeja was inducted in the playing squad solely for his batting and not for his left-arm spin bowling in the overcast English conditions.
“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,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo.
“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.”
WTC Final: Jadeja’s pick would have been righteous under dry and turning conditions, feels Manjrekar
In Manjrekar words, Jadeja would have only been a wise pick as a bowling specialist that too only under normal dry and turning surface in Southampton.
“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.
WTC Final: Jadeja scored total of 31 runs in two innings
As the Indian batsman presented a near-to-flop-show in the two innings (15 in 1st innings and 16 in 2nd) of the ultimate Test, Hanuma Vihari in Jadeja’s place as a batting specialist would have escalated Team India’s score on the board.
“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.
“But I hope India don’t do what England have historically done, pick somebody because there is another strength that they have and that strength might just come to good use, but very rarely it does when it’s a pressure game,” he said.
Even with the bowling conditions totally assisting the seamers, Jadeja had a little to offer with the ball and rattled just one wicket in the match.
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