Sanjay Manjrekar. (Sanjay Manjrekar/Instagram)
Sanjay Manjrekar. (Sanjay Manjrekar/Instagram)

'Second great Test innings in under two months': Sanjay Manjrekar picks his 'performance of the series'

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By, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 09:50 PM IST

The India vs England Test series was filled with incredible individual performances. Joe Root's double century in the first Test in Chennai, R Ashwin's century in the second Test at the same venue, Rohit Sharma's innings of 161 on the turning Ahmedabad surface, followed by Axar Patel's five five-wicket-hauls. But the one performance that stands out above all for former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is Rishabh Pant's century on Day 2 of the fourth Test.

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Pant's century changed the complexion of the game entirely. After England were bowled out for 205, it looked as if they would get away with a first innings lead when India were reduced to 146/6, but Pant's counter-attacking charge, coupled with a career-best 96 from Washington Sundar elevated India to 365, a total that in the end, proved good enough for the hosts.

"Has to be Rishabh Pant. And I remember saying at that time as well and maintaining that thought process that he's played a second great Test innings in under two months, so I've got to acknowledge that as the performance of the series," Manjrekar said on ESPNCricinfo.

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With the highest tally of 32 wickets, R Ashwin emerged as the Player of the Series and Manjrekar couldn't agree more with it. He picked up 3/146 and 6/61 even though India lost the first Test but followed it with a five-wicket-haul in the second Test and a match-winning century for India. He would grab a match-haul of seven wickets in the third Test and picked up his 400th Test wicket before capping off the series with yet another five-for, his 30th in Test matches.

"When you look at the wickets tally and no one had more wickets that R Ashwin. Just Ashwin's presence, being the leader of the pack, the job becomes doubly difficult. Plus, his batting in the series that crucial time he got a hundred. There were some other contenders, some batsmen so this was more a bowler-friendly series but in the end, you've got to go with Ashwin," Manjrekar explained.

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