Sanjay Manjrekar weighs in on India's team selection for WTC Final

  • In the hindsight, Manjrekar feels that playing an additional batsman might have helped India since the runs did not come from the middle-lower order.
File photo of Sanjay Manjrekar(Twitter)
File photo of Sanjay Manjrekar(Twitter)
Updated on Jun 25, 2021 06:48 PM IST
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By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi

Former India batsman and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar feels India missed a trick by not including an additional specialist batsman in their playing XI for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.

India decided to go in with two spinners in their line-up, in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, both of whom could bat a bit. In the end it was the lack of runs that resulted in India's loss and that is why Manjrekar stressed on the need to pick specialists.

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"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 said on ESPNCricinfo.

"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," he added.

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In the hindsight, Manjrekar feels that playing an additional batsman might have helped India since the runs did not come from the middle-lower order. "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?" added Manjrekar.

"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.

India lost the match by 8 wickets to New Zealand in Southampton.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021