Sanjay Manjrekar skeptical about the Indian brand of aggression
The test series win in Sri Lanka for the Indians did not come without its fair share of controversies. The third test match was marked with ugly skirmishes as Ishant Sharma took aggression to the extreme level by getting tangled in a war of words with the hosts. The end result was that Sharma was banned for one test match.
Sharma’s behavior has irked former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar greatly. Manjrekar, in his column for ESPN Cricinfo ridiculed Ishant Sharma for behaving immaturely and also questioned the tactics of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri.
“I am a bit concerned with the Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri partnership. That the Indians are not trying to tone their behaviour down after Australia, and have got into ugly confrontations with even a team like Sri Lanka, tells me that they don’t see these actions as misdemeanours at all,” Manjrekar wrote.
“Perhaps this is all part of their new brand of aggressive cricket. If that’s the case, it does not make any cricketing sense at all. For this version of aggressive cricket has cost India the services of their strike bowler, a player who is in great form, in a crucial Test match,” Manjrekar continued.
“But India may say, ‘We won the series, and this is what you need to be a winning team – a bit of aggression.’ A simple retort would be: Why didn’t aggression win you games in Australia?”
The former Indian batsman also disapproved of bowlers showing animation after dismissing a batsman. “What I can’t fathom about these send-offs is: when a wicket falls, it means the batsman has failed and the bowler has succeeded, but it’s the bowler who is angry for some reason. Why should anger follow success? When the anger of the victor is aimed at the vanquished, it’s a brawl waiting to happen.”
Manjrekar continued his criticism of Ishant and wrote, “There was one instance right towards the end of the last Test that the TV cameras did not show. Prasad came out to bat in the second innings with India within arm’s reach of a win. That moment told me that, one, Ishant was not willing to learn a lesson on his own, and two, that perhaps – and this is speculation – he was not talked to sternly enough by the team management for him to have dared repeat the offence,” he wrote.
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