“I suppose that flopped as it always does,” says the winner of the WTC. – On Ravindra Jadeja’s selection against New Zealand, Sanjay Manjrekar


Team India’s selection of Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI for the World Test Championship final displeased Sanjay Manjrekar. The choice to play Jadeja as a batsman failed, according to Manjrekar, because there wasn’t much turn on offer for the southpaw to exploit with the ball.

Sanjay Manjrekar has inserted Hanuma Vihari, a specialist batsman, in his playing XI before the start of the WTC final, in place of Ravindra Jadeja.

Manjrekar has gone on to say that Jadeja’s batting talents alone do not make him good enough to play for India in Test matches. On ESPNCricinfo, the 55-year-old said:

“If you look at India’s preparations before the game, picking two spinners was always a difficult decision, especially when the weather was gloomy and the toss was postponed by a day. Ravindra Jadeja was chosen solely for his batting ability, and his left-arm spin was not a factor in his selection. He was picked for his batting and that is something that I am always against.”

Furthermore, Manjrekar remarked that putting faith in Ravindra Jadeja’s batting abilities ‘backfired as it usually does.’

“You have to pick specialised players in the team, and if they thought the surface was dry and turning, Ravindra Jadeja’s left-arm spin, together with Ashwin, would have been a good choice. But they chose him for his batting ability, which I believe backfired, as it usually does.”

Hanuma Vihari’s selection is batted by Sanjay Manjrekar.

Hanuma Vihari in action for Warwickshire

Hanuma Vihari last played a Test match for India in Sydney earlier this year in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, where despite a hamstring injury, he held up one end to enable India achieve a much-needed draw against Australia on the final day.

Sanjay Manjrekar believes that fielding a specialist like Hanuma Vihari in the second innings, when India was knocked out for just 170 runs, would have extended India’s lead even further.

“It would have been beneficial if they had a specialist batsman, like as Hanuma Vihari, who could defend rather well. Who knows, 170 could have been 220, 225, or 230.” Manjrekar enquired.

Following their loss to New Zealand, India would be eager to correct their weaknesses. When India takes on England in a five-match Test series commencing in August, Virat Kohli and his teammates will have a daunting job.

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