Sanjay Manjrekar has never really considered Hardik Pandya as a trustable batsman. Recently, there was a Twitter-brawl between him and a Pandya fan that actually became viral. In that argument, it was Sanjay Manjrekar who said that Hardik Pandya is not a tested batsman in ODI. Therefore, taking Manish Pandey in his place in the starting 11 would be a much safer option. After Pandya’s knock of 92*(76) in the third ODI against Australia though, Manjrekar seems to have changed his thought. “Not anymore”, the veteran Indian cricketer rectified his ‘anti-Pandya’ notion.
What Sanjay Manjrekar Had Said About Hardik Pandya And Ravindra Jadeja
Not only Pandya but Manjrekar was also pessimistic regarding Ravindra Jadeja’s selection in the playing 11. In the same twitter brawl he criticized Jadeja’s selection as well. When a fan mentioned that the Indian team needs Jaddu’s fielding skills in Australia, he replied,” Take him in as a substitute fielder, first chance you get”.
“My selection and thoughts are based on a principle. It is what I have learned over the years. If you have specialists who can walk-in based on one discipline, you fill your team with those players. I do not really have a problem with Jadeja. I actually do have a problem with his kind of cricketers in white-ball cricket. Even Hardik Pandya will not be in my team. They add illusory value to the team. Of course, I have always rated Jadeja highly in the Test format.”
In the third ODI match against Australia, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja both played superb knocks to take India’s score past the 300 mark. Jadeja scored 66*(50) and also took an important wicket. Not only in the third ODI but these two players have been in their best form in the entire series. By their performances, both of them have seemingly silenced their haters.
Seeing this spectacular performance by both the cricketers, the fans urged an apology out the Sanjay Manjrekar. Seeing the growing controversy, Sanjay Manjrekar finally took to Twitter and rectified his statement. He tweeted, “Was skeptical about Hardik the pure batsman in 50 overs cricket. Not anymore.”
The Story Of How The ODI Series Concluded
In the match at the Manuka oval, India won the toss and decided to bat first. Among the main batsmen of the team India, namely, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, only Kohli managed to play a good knock. He scored 63(78). Shubhman Gill who played his first match of the series, made a decent 33 (39). When the top order of the Indian batting line-up collapsed, the responsibility fell upon the two all-rounders of the side- Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. And they nailed this opportunity. When Kohli was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood, even 250+ looked like a decent score. But the Pandya-Jadeja partnership took India’s score to 302/5.
India’s bowling unit performed better than the last two matches. India made two good replacements in the match. Newcomers Shardul and Natarajan took 3 and 2 wickets respectively and made their mark. Bumrah took two late wickets as well to seal the match in a thrilling comeback.
India thus lost the ODI series 2-1 and they would be looking forward to win the upcoming T-20 series against the Australian side.
Better Performances In The Shorter Version Of The Game As Well
Though Ravindra Jadeja got injured in the first T20I, his contribution with the bat was key in guiding India to a win. The second match, Hardik Pandya also displayed some great hitting, which led India once again to victory.
The two wins meant that the series was wrapped up before Virat Kohli and co. finally lost a T20 game this year. It was yet another narrow loss and Pandya did score a decent 20. The Indian team lost the game by 12 runs.
Further, Hardik Pandya was adjudged the Man Of The Series for his brilliant performances that he continued to showcase post IPL 2020. It was something that would have really made him proud and got Majrekar more hate on social media. Not the way that the former Indian cricketer would have predicted things to be. However, he quickly changed his stance on the same.
Well, it will be interesting to see how the fans react to his comments in the Test series that follows. Sanjay Manjrekar has seen his ups and downs with regards to fan-reactions. As long as Team India plays good cricket, the fans will be delighted. Let’s wait and watch!!