Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzwiki

Sanjay Manjrekar

Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle

Ravindra Jadeja Should Bat Ahead Of MS Dhoni In IPL 2021 UAE Leg: Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar, former cricketer turned commentator feels Ravindra Jadeja will bat again at the No. 6 spot for his franchise Chennai Super Kings ahead of their talismanic skipper MS Dhoni. It was followed in the first half of IPL 2021. Sanjay Manjrekar feels the batting positions of Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni won’t change in the UAE leg.

CSK had a poor outing in the previous IPL 2020 season held in the UAE as they won just six games and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in IPL history.  However, Sanjay Manjrekar is of the opinion that players like Moeen Ali and Sam Curran have changed the way CSK plays and they will fare better this time around.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Sanjay Manjrekar: Ravindra Jadeja Should Bat Ahead Of MS Dhoni

The all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was in clinical form in the first phase of IPL 2021 with the bat especially and he played some crucial knocks. He has the ability to turn a match on its head quickly. He has been excellent under MS Dhoni’s captaincy and he will be expecting to produce the same.

The left-handed batsman scored 131 runs in 6 innings at an average of 131. He also batted at a strike rate of 126+ and scored a half-century. He also picked 6 wickets while bowling at an economy of 6.70 and an average of 26.83.

On the other hand, MS Dhoni will lead the team in the match against Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 opener. In the first leg, the wicketkeeper-batsman could not come up with a big knock in any game. In 4 innings, he scored 37 runs averaging a below-par 12.33.

Sanjay Manjrekar said about CSK: “Jadeja should bat ahead of MS Dhoni. I think so (CSK will do well) because their approach has changed and Moeen Ali and Sam Curran have become impact players so they should perform better than the last time we saw them in UAE.”

Ravindra Jadeja, CSK
Ravindra Jadeja. Image Credits: Twitter

Sanjay Manjrekar and Ian Bishop picked overseas players for both the two teams CSK and MI ahead of their encounter on September 19. CSK might not have the services of Faf du Plessis due to his injury in the CPL. Both Sanjay Manjrekar and Ian Bishop want MS Dhoni to play the pace duo of Josh Hazlewood and Lungi Ngidi.

“I think Moeen Ali, they should get both their fast bowlers in Hazlewood and Lungi Ngidi. And if there is a little bit of turn, Imran Tahir,” Manjrekar said.

“For the first game because of injuries, I will go with Moeen Ali, Josh Hazlewood and Lungi Ngidi,” Bishop opined.

Lungi Ngidi might play as a pacer in the opening game against Mumbai Indians. During the first leg, the South African pacer played 3 matches. He picked 5 wickets at an average of 25, with a three-wicket haul in one match.

Josh Hazlewood played 3 games in IPL 2020 picking 1 scalp. Josh Hazelwood had cited personal reasons for pulling out of IPL 2021. In his absence, CSK roped in left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff from Australia. However, he did not play a single game for the 3-time champions in IPL 2021. But Josh Hazlewood announced his availability for the UAE leg of IPL 2021.

Sanjay Manjrekar And Ian Bishop Wants Adam Milne To Play As The 4th Overseas Option For Mumbai Indians

As far as Mumbai Indians are concerned, the likes of Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, and Trent Boult pick themselves. When it comes to the fourth overseas player, both Sanjay Manjrekar and Ian Bishop want the in-form Adam Milne to play ahead of Nathan Coulter Nile.

“Toss up between Coulter Nile and Adam Milne. There is enough batting for MI so I think Adam Milne.” Manjrekar stated.

Adam Milne- Twitter
Adam Milne- Twitter

“Adam Milne definitely should play. He is the form of his life,” Bishop concluded.

Adam Milne was the leading wicket-taker in the inaugural edition of the Hundred claiming 12 scalps bowling 135 balls for Birmingham Phoenix.

Probable XIs:-

Chennai Super Kings: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Moeen Ali, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Ravindra Jadeja, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Deepak Chahar, 10 Imran Tahir, 11 Lungi Ngidi/Josh Hazlewood.

Mumbai Indians: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Ishan Kishan, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Adam Milne/Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 Jayant Yadav/Rahul Chahar, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar Questions Why Rishabh Pant Was Told To Change His Stance On Day 1 Of 3rd Test

Sunil Gavaskar expressed his dismay at the umpires asking India keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant not to bat out of his crease. Sunil Gavaskar never shies away from making his point loud and clear.

After expressing his disagreements with Nasser Hussain’s comments about India’s previous generation cricketers getting ‘bullied,’ the legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar this time expressed his dismay at the umpires asking India keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant not to bat out of his crease.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Sunil Gavaskar Was Wondering Why Rishabh Pant Was Told To Change His Stance

The southpaw slightly batted outside the crease on Day 1 of the Leeds Test, which the umpires had found wrong as they felt he was trying to deliberately come into the danger area by creating footmarks, and hence he was told to bat inside the crease itself. Sunil Gavaskar’s comments came during Day 3 of the India vs England third Test at Headingley in Leeds. Sunil Gavaskar said footmarks don’t determine a batsman’s stance.

“I was wondering why was he told to change his stance if that is true. I only read it. A batsman can stand anywhere, even on the middle of the pitch, and what about when the batsman goes down the track against the spinners (footmarks can form even then),” Gavaskar said while commentating on the third day of the match.

Rishabh Pant and Sunil Gavaskar collage.(AP/File)
Rishabh Pant and Sunil Gavaskar collage.(AP/File)

His fellow commentator and former India player Sanjay Manjrekar called it “ridiculous”. Rishabh Pant spoke about this after India was bowled out for 78 on the opening day of the match.

“Because I was standing outside the crease and my front foot was coming into the danger area, so he (the umpire) told me that you can’t stand there,” Pant had said during the virtual post-day press conference on Wednesday.

“So, I have (had) to change my stance, but as a cricketer, I don’t have to think too much about that, because it’s everyone who is going to do that, umpires are going to say the same thing. I didn’t do that the next ball and you move on.”

The decision by the two English umpires once again asks whether it’s time that ICC reverts back to its two neutral on-field umpires for Test matches has been stopped due to travel restrictions in the post-Covid-19 world. On-field umpires Paul Wharf and Richard Kettleborough decided the verdict against Rishabh Pant.

India Lost By An Innings And 76 Runs As Series Level At 1-1

Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara led India’s fightback as they reached 215 for 2 at stumps on Friday(3rd Day). Cheteshwar Pujara was unbeaten on 91 with captain Virat Kohli (45) for company. India was still 139 runs away from making England bat again.

However, India lost 8 wickets in the morning session on Day 4 to hand England a series leveling win in Leeds. Joe Root-led England crushed India by an innings and 76 runs as Ollie Robinson clinched a fifer in the second innings. The fourth Test will now be played at The Oval from September 2.

Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images

Resuming at an overnight score of 215 for 2, India’s second innings folded in 99.3 overs with England pacer Ollie Robinson claiming five wickets. India was bundled out for a paltry 78 in their first innings on an opening day. England then posted 432 in their first innings to take a mammoth lead of 354 runs. India lost their last eight wickets for 53 runs in the morning session on Day 4 to hand England a convincing win.

Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

Virat Kohli’s Plan To Bowl Bouncers In The 2nd Test Against James Anderson Was Executed By Jasprit Bumrah: Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar feels Virat Kohli may have asked Jasprit Bumrah to use the ploy of bowing bouncers against James Anderson. Sanjay Manjrekar reckons so because he feels Jasprit Bumrah is not someone who would do something like that.

There were enough clips on social media to suggest that India skipper Virat Kohli asked Mohammed Siraj to get under the skin of James Anderson by targetting the helmet. The instructions were there for everyone to see. But it was the Jasprit Bumrah-James Anderson battle that changed the course of the game.

James Anderson and Jasprit Bumrah
James Anderson and Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Sanjay Manjrekar: Virat Kohli’s Plan Was Executed By Jasprit Bumrah

In a column, Sanjay Manjrekar wrote about the entire episode. It all started towards the end of day three when Jasprit Bumrah peppered James Anderson with a few short deliveries. Sanjay Majrekar said that no one expected Jasprit Bumrah to bowl that sort of length to James Anderson. The veteran went on to write that it was a Virat Kohli plan that the bowlers went on to execute.

“I am guessing this was Virat Kohli’s plan executed by Bumrah. Go after the main guy in the opposition, soften him up a little, stir him up a bit or maybe injure him in a way that the main English weapon was blunted,” Sanjay Manjrekar wrote in his column on Hindustan Times.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
“Whatever the reason, I just loved it. Why? Because right through my playing career no captain of mine – barring one – did this to any opposition fast bowler fearing the backlash. This is Virat’s great attribute. He is genuinely aggressive and fearless and he is in your face,” Manjrekar wrote.
India and England played out a memorable Test at Lord’s, where the visitors emerged as deserving winners. But apart from the result of the match, the entire team under the leadership of Virat Kohli showed great character to come out of difficult situations. There were a few altercations throughout the match, which only helped India perform even better.

Sanjay Manjrekar: It Was Evident That James Anderson Was Genuinely Affected

There was also an incident where while walking back to the Pavillion, James Anderson allegedly abused Jasprit Bumrah. And from there on, James Anderson was never quite in the match. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami later went on to string an 89-run partnership for the 9th wicket that helped India win by 151 runs in the 2nd Test.

On this Manjrekar said, “you could see Anderson was genuinely affected. He had lost his calm as a competitor. It seemed to me his ego was bruised a little.”

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

If Jasprit Bumrah stole the show with bat and ball (3/33 and 34*), Mohammed Siraj (4/32) wasn’t ready to miss the opportunity to shine at the Home of Cricket as India took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. Ishant Sharma, who did not play in the first Test due to a niggle, returned to the XI for the Lord’s and picked up three wickets in the first innings and two in the second.

While Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were the leaders, Ishant Sharma (2/13) and Mohammed Shami (1/13) cannot be ignored for putting in the right support. Mohammed Shami (56 n.o. & 1/13 in 10 overs) and Jasprit Bumrah (34 n.o. & 3/33 in 15 overs) played innings of their lives and then rocked the England top-order, before Ishant Sharma (2/13 in 10 overs) and Mohammed Siraj (4/32) played their part to perfection to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

The 5-Match Test Series Against England Is A Make-or-Break For Rohit Sharma, Says Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar has opined that the five-match series against England is a make-or-break one for Rohit Sharma and that there’s no point in having a batsman, at 34, who only scores big in India.

The much-awaited five-match series between India and England kicks off on Wednesday (August 4) in Nottingham. The members of Team India got much-needed rest after the World Test Championship final and are now all geared up to hit the field for an international fixture after nearly 50 days.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Rohit Sharma Have To Open With Either KL Rahul Or Debutant Abhimanyu Easwaran In The 1st Test

While all eyes will be on Virat Kohli’s captaincy and his form with the bat, Rohit Sharma will also draw his share of the limelight. The right-handed batsman, who now plays as an opener in the Test team too, will be kicking off the proceedings in the UK for the first time.

KL Rahul. Pic: Getty Images
KL Rahul. Pic: Getty Images

Rohit Sharma’s last Test appearance against England in their ground came back in 2014 as he wasn’t part of the Test squad which toured the country in 2018. Rohit Sharma will have to negate the new ball threat and will have to build the innings along with either KL Rahul or Abhimanyu Easwaran as Mayank Agarwal is ruled out at least from the 1st Test due to a concussion suffered at net practice.

KL Rahul, who also kept wickets in the practice match against a County Select XI, scored a century while batting in the middle order. The last time India toured England, the opening pair only breached the 50-run mark twice across 10 innings. Hence, the pressure is on Rohit Sharma as he is one of the most experienced members of the Test team.

Sanjay Manjrekar: The England Test Series Is A Make Or Break Series For Rohit Sharma Who Scores Big Only In India

Ahead of the tour, former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has opined that the five-match Test series is a make-or-break one Rohit Sharma the Test batter. Sanjay Manjrekar said that there’s no point in having a batsman, at 34, who has played over 40 Tests, who only scores big in India.

“This is also a make-or-break series for the Test batter in Sharma, because there is no point in having a batter with over 40 Tests under his belt, aged 34, to be in the Test team if he is going to get you big scores only in India,” the noted commentator Sanjay Manjrekar wrote.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

Rohit Sharma scored 34 runs in the only Test he played on the 2014 tour. In the World Test Championship final, he got starts and scored 34 and 30. Rohit Sharma, who scored 648 runs in the 2019 World Cup, will hope to emulate that success in red-ball cricket. He hit five centuries in the ICC event. Meanwhile, India could have a debutant in Abhimanyu Easwaran in the 1st Test if KL Rahul isn’t given the opening job.

Rohit Sharma has amassed 1094 runs in 12 Tests averaging 60.77 in the WTC cycle of 2019-21. He has scored four centuries. His highest score came against South Africa when he smashed 212 runs in an innings. His first outing as a Test match opener was against South Africa at home and he smashed a century in both innings of the match and followed it with a double century as well.

India Squad For Sri Lanka Tour (Image: BCCI)
India Squad For Sri Lanka Tour (Image: BCCI)

Sanjay Manjrekar Will Be Surprised If Sri Lanka Wins Even One Game Against India

Sanjay Manjrekar, the former Indian cricketer and cricket expert cum commentator feels the Indian team are firm favourites to win the ODI as well as the T20I series against Sri Lanka in their own den.

Although this Indian team has a number of fresh faces, Sanjay Manjrekar stressed that the presence of experienced players like Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya in their squad gives India the edge.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Sanjay Manjrekar Will Be Surprised If Sri Lanka Wins Even One Game

In his column for the Hindustan Times, Sanjay Manjrekar also acknowledged the fact that the selectors have given a long rope to Kuldeep Yadav and Manish Pandey. The duo is part of the squad, despite being unable to prove their mettle in the IPL 2021 phase one.

Sanjay Manjrekar feels there is enough experience in this Indian team to get the better of Sri Lanka. He further stated that he would be surprised if Sri Lanka won even a single game.

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav Photo Credit: AP

“In Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya, India has two game-changers with experience. I like the fact that the selectors have not been completely influenced by the IPL in their selection. Kuldeep and Manish Pandey get another chance to show that they still have enough for Indian cricket to stay invested in them. I will be surprised if Sri Lanka puts one over this Indian team,” Sanjay Manjrekar wrote.

Compared to the 2018 season – where he played 16 matches for KKR, Kuldeep Yadav featured in just 9 games for the franchise in 2019 followed by 5 matches in IPL 2020. He stayed on the bench in the first phase of IPL 2021.

Kuldeep Yadav last played in the three-match ODI series against England this year, but he was not able to take any wickets. In the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, Kuldeep Yadav was not given a chance in playing XI by his franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Manish Pandey has played 5 games for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2021 and amassed 193 runs averaging 48.25 with a comparatively below-par strike rate of 123.71. SRH was languishing at the bottom of the points table with 2 points (only 1 win from 7 IPL games).

Sanjay Manjrekar: Indian Team Touring Sri Lanka Isn’t A Second String Team

Given the restrictions due to COVID-19, the BCCI decided to send a separate team to Sri Lanka and let the main Indian team comprising of more experienced Test specialists stay back in England to prepare for the Test series.

However, former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga stated that this was a ‘second-string’ Indian side and it was an insult to Sri Lankan cricket.  Sanjay Manjrekar rubbished the statement and explained why the Indian team sent to Sri Lanka is not a ‘second-string’ side.

“This is not a second-string Indian team. India’s Test team is in England and in Sri Lanka we have the Indian T20 team. Barring only a few players, this is India’s full-strength T20 team. A second-string team is when an entirely different squad is put up by a country in the same format. I would like to think that India’s T20 cricket is in fine shape,” Sanjay Manjrekar concluded.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Shikhar Dhawan will captain the 20 members Indian side. Shikhar Dhawan was the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 before it was postponed with 380 runs from 8 games averaging 54.28. Shikhar Dhawan was the 2nd highest run-getter in IPL 2020 too with 618 runs in 17 games. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the vice-captain of the team during the tour of Sri Lanka.

The announced squad included six uncapped players, five of whom received their maiden call-ups for team India. Ahead of the first match- Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Padikkal, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham, Varun Chakravarthy, and Chetan Sakariya were in high spirits and looking forward to the series.

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY

Hardik Pandya Has The Ability To Play As A Pure Batsman, Says Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar, former Indian cricketer turned commentator has said that Hardik Pandya has the capability to play for India as a “pure batsman”. Notably, Hardik Pandya has not been bowling regularly due to a lower back injury he suffered in 2019.

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has said that all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has not been bowling regularly due to a lower back injury, has the capability to feature in the playing XI as a “pure batsman” as well.

 India all-rounder Hardik Pandya (Reuters Image)
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya (Reuters Image)

Sanjay Manjrekar: Hardik Pandya Has The Ability To Walk Into The Team As A Pure Batsman In Limited Over

The 27-year-old is currently in Sri Lanka with India’s limited-overs squad led by Shikhar Dhawan. Eyes will be on Hardik Pandya during the 6 matches which are also being seen as the final chance for many youngsters like Nitish Rana, Chetan Sakariya, and Devdutt Padikkal to push forward their case for selection in India’s T20I World Cup 2021 squad.

Hardik Pandya’s contribution to the team and place in the playing XI has been a topic of debate because of his lack of bowling recently, however, Sanjay Manjrekar feels otherwise.

“Hardik proved himself in Australia that he is perfectly capable of playing in the team as a pure batter, there is no doubt now that he can do that,” Sanjay Manjrekar said during a virtual interaction.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

“I am also reading reports that he has started bowling as well. His bowling, all the more-better for India. He has shown that he has the ability to walk into the team as a pure batter in white-ball cricket,” added Sanjay Manjrekar.

The cricketer-turned-commentator also said that the T20 team that India would put up in the upcoming World Cup would be one of the strongest.

“The T20 World Cup squad is almost finalized. India’s T20 cricket is in a very healthy space, so it is not like the 2019 World Cup, where till the end we didn’t find our number four. This T20 team, that India will put up, will be one of the strongest India has ever put up in a T20 format, so I think most of the players are already penciled in.”

After recovering from a career-threatening back injury he suffered in 2019 for which he went back surgery, Hardik Pandya bowled quite impressively and without too much apparent discomfort during the limited-overs series against England. He didn’t bowl in IPL 2020 at UAE and didn’t bowl much in the Australia tour except for one ODI.

Hardik Pandya bowled during an intra-squad game in the Sri Lanka tour. He has bowled sporadically since his back surgery, which has led to his non-selection in Test format.

Ajay Jadeja Backs Future Star Devdutt Padikkal To Open

Former India batsman Ajay Jadeja, who was also part of the interaction, backed young RCB star Devdutt Padikkal to open the innings against Sri Lanka.

“I love Devdutt Padikkal, he is the future, but you have got Prithvi Shaw as well. It all depends on the guys who are running the side at that particular moment. I don’t think it is a choice that Shikhar Dhawan would be making, it will be a choice that the selectors make and of course Rahul Dravid.

“It will show us what Indian cricket is thinking. It is a tough call between all these guys. I would have gone with Padikkal, he is very special,” said Jadeja, adding he was a bit surprised at Dhawan being made the skipper.

Devdutt Padikkal
Devdutt Padikkal (Image Credit: Twitter)

Last year in the IPL 2020, Devdutt Padikkal amassed 473 runs from 15 matches, becoming only the second player in the tournament’s history to score over 400 runs in a debut season. Earlier this year, in IPL 2021, Devdutt Padikkal had taken his tally to 195 runs from six matches, including a century.

Prithvi Shaw earned a call-up into the white-ball squad following his excellent form in IPL 2021 (308 runs) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (827 runs).

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Sanjay Manjrekar Picks 3 Indian Players To Watch Out For In The Limited-Overs Series Against Sri Lanka

Sanjay Manjrekar has picked three Indian players to watch for during the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. He shared these names on the Sportskeeda show Sanjay Se Sawal.

Team India will play six limited-overs matches, starting with the first ODI on July 13, during their tour of Sri Lanka. The Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian side is mainly comprised of white-ball specialists and players who intend to make a mark on the international stage.

Sanjay Manjrekar (Main Image) Photo: © Instagram
Sanjay Manjrekar (Main Image) Photo: © Instagram

Sanjay Manjrekar: Suryakumar Yadav Looks A Perfect Fit For The Middle Order

Suryakumar Yadav was the first player picked by Sanjay Manjrekar who looks a perfect fit for India’s middle order problems that was one of the big reasons for India’s exit in the last ODI World Cup 2019.

“One is Suryakumar Yadav. You know India had a middle-order problem in white-ball cricket. It became a big reason for India’s loss at the 2019 World Cup. Suryakumar Yadav looks a perfect fit for the middle order, to play at No.3 or No.4.”

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that the swashbuckling batsman will have to continue displaying the same form he has shown in the IPL and the T20I series against England.

Sanjay Manjrekar explained:”So we will have to see his form because his international debut was very good but there is so much competition that he will have to continuously give performances like that. The class we are seeing in his batting over the last two-three years in white-ball cricket, in the IPL, the expectation is that he will carry that form to Indian cricket.”

Suryakumar Yadav had made a sensational international debut in the T20Is against England. He will hope to continue in the same vein and cement a spot in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup slated later this year.

Sanjay Manjrekar: Chetan Sakariya Will Bring Some Variation Being A Left Arm Seamer While Varun Chakravarthy Can Pick Wickets In The Middle Overs

Sanjay Manjrekar reckons Chetan Sakariya’s left-arm angle can lend much-needed variety to the Indian attack.

“The second player whose performance I am looking forward to, I hope he gets a chance as well, is Chetan Sakariya. I was just amazed that such a new guy who has hardly played any senior cricket, the way he bowled in the IPL. He is a left-arm seamer, so will also bring some variation in the Indian attack.”

The 55-year-old pointed out that the youngster who debuted and impressed in IPL 2021 showed the ability to bowl at all stages of a T20 innings during the IPL.

Sanjay Manjrekar elaborated: “The success he enjoyed in the IPL, it was not that he was bowling just the middle overs, sometimes your economy rate looks very good by bowling the easy overs, he bowled all the tough overs and despite that a very good economy rate and a good strike rate. Seeing all that, it seems that he has different skills to survive in each of the stages of an innings.”

Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)
Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)

Sanjay Manjrekar’s third and final pick was Varun Chakravarthy who picked 17 wickets in the 2020 IPL season at an average of 20.94 and 7 scalps in as many games in IPL 2021.

“The third player is Varun Chakravarthy. It is probably time now to see more spinners, for quite a few years Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have flown the Indian tricolor, so it will be good to have more options.”

The 37-Test veteran reasoned that the Kolkata Knight Riders spinner can bring in the mystery element, much like Sunil Narine used to do in the past.

Sanjay Manjrekar added: “Rahul Chahar is a proper leg-spinner but Varun Chakravarthy has that specialty that was there in Sunil Narine earlier, when his bowling action was not suspect. His temperament is very good, he is mild-natured and bowls a straight line. So if a batsman tries to take a risk against him, he has the ability to get him bowled or leg-before. He is a spinner who can get wickets for India in the middle overs.”

Varun Chakravarthy is yet to make his India debut after being sidelined by injuries and fitness issues in the past. The Sri Lanka series presents him with a great opportunity to impress the selectors before they pick the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup.


Sanjay Manjrekar, Ajit Agarkar And Ajay Jadeja Will Be In Charge Of English Commentary During Sri Lanka vs India Series

Sanjay Manjrekar, Ajit Agarkar, and Ajay Jadeja, the former Indian players along with Matt Floyd will present the live studio show in English as the commentary panel for the upcoming limited-overs series between Sri Lanka and India has been announced.

The Hindi studio show will be presented by former cricketers Mohammad Kaif, Vivek Razdan, Amit Mishra, Saba Karim alongside Arjun Pandit while the Tamil commentary box will feature Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, WV Raman, Vidhyut Sivaramakrishnan, T Arasu, and S Seshadri and the Telugu commentary will be presented by Venkatapathy Raju, Gnaneshwar Rao, C Venkatesh, RJ Hemanth, Sandeep Kumar, and Vijay Mahavadi.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Sanjay Manjrekar Will Be In Charge Of English Commentary

Sanjay Manjrekar, Ajay Jadeja, Ajit Agarkar, and Matt Floyd will be in charge of English commentary during the six white-ball matches.

Sanjay Manjrekar with Ajit Agarkar. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Sanjay Manjrekar with Ajit Agarkar. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Sanjay Manjrekar is regarded as one of the most astute analysts of the game in India today. Since he is not afraid to speak his mind, Sanjay Manjrekar has often landed himself in trouble and got trolled on social media with some sensational observations, insights, and remarks.

Shikhar Dhawan Will Lead And Rahul Dravid Will Coach The Young Indian Side In Forthcoming Sri Lanka Series

Led by Shikhar Dhawan and coached by Rahul Dravid, the young Indian side sans the Test specialists will play three ODI and three T20Is against Sri Lanka. The series will be aired in India live in four languages: SONY TEN 1 and SONY SIX in English, SONY TEN 3 in Hindi, and on the newly launched SONY TEN 4 in Tamil and Telugu from 1.30 pm IST as well as live-streamed on its on-demand OTT platform SonyLIV.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham, and Chetan Sakariya are likely to receive their maiden Indian cap in ODIs and/or T20Is and will have the experience of seasoned players like Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal to name a few.

Rahul Dravid on Sunday said he hopes the white-ball squad is able to perform up to expectations so that they are able to knock the doors of selectors for a call-up for the forthcoming T20 World Cup which is set to be played later this year in UAE.

“So like you said, rightly there are a lot of people in the squad who are pushing for places or looking to cement their places in the sort of T20 World Cup. But the key goal for everyone in the squad and in the team is to try and win the series, we have had discussions around it.”

“That is the primary objective. We are going out there to win the series, hopefully, people get the opportunity to put in good performances in the course of us trying to win the series, and knock the doors of the selectors,” said Dravid while replying to an ANI query during team’s pre-departure press conference on Sunday.

Shikhar Dhawan will lead a 20-man squad comprising of many budding youngsters who did well in IPL 2020 and/or IPL 2021. The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, and Ishan Kishan will join an array of youngsters, some of whom are expected to make their India debuts in the island nation.

India’s squad: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (Wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (Wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Vice-captain), Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya


Sanjay Manjrekar: Playing Ravindra Jadeja In WTC Final XI Was A Gamble Which Backfired

Sanjay Manjrekar weighed in on Ravindra Jadeja’s selection in India’s XI for the WTC final, saying that playing the all-rounder for his batting was a gamble India took but it never paid off.

Sanjay Manjrekar feels India missed a trick by including Ravindra Jadeja in the Playing XI for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, which they lost by eight wickets.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Sanjay Manjrekar: Picking 2 Spinners A Debatable Selection In Overcast Conditions

Ravindra Jadeja picked up one wicket in the match and scored 15 and 16 in both innings as India failed to put up a solid score, and Sanjay Manjrekar weighed in on the all-rounder’s selection saying that playing the 32-year-old for his batting was a gamble India took but it never paid off.

Ravindra Jadeja’s batting stocks have been on an upward curve. In the last three years, he averages over 50 with the bat while his bowling has shown steady improvement as well. But in conditions where there was plenty of assistance for the fast bowlers, Sanjay Manjrekar feels Ravindra Jadeja’s inclusion was surprising, especially since the heavens had opened up and India still stuck to the XI they had announced on the eve of the start of the WTC final.

Sanjay Manjrekar feels Ravindra Jadeja being picked on his batting wasn't India's best call for the WTC final. (Getty Images)
Sanjay Manjrekar feels Ravindra Jadeja being picked on his batting wasn’t India’s best call for the WTC final. (Getty Images)

“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.”

Ravindra Jadeja scored 15 off 53 balls before dismissed by Trent Boult. When it came to bowling, the all-rounder returned figures of 1/20 in 7.2 overs. Ravindra Jadeja, in the second innings, could only score 16 off 49 deliveries and only bowled eight of the 45 overs in the second innings, going wicketless and conceding 25 runs.

Sanjay Manjrekar Felt Playing A Specialist Batsman In Hanuma Vihari Would Have Been Handy

In the hindsight, Sanjay 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 defense, that would have been handy. Maybe 170 could have been 220, 225 or 230, who knows?” added Manjrekar.

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari. Photo: AP

“But I hope India doesn’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.”

The 27-year-old Hanuma Vihari has scored 624 runs in 12 Tests for India at an average of around 32. He has hit a hundred and four half-centuries. Hanuma Vihari’s last India outing was in the Sydney Test against Australia, where his epic four-hour vigil (23 not out), with a torn hamstring alongside Ravichandran Ashwin, saved the game for the visiting team.

Another batting and bowling option was the two-Test old Shardul Thakur who was mighty impressive in the only longest format game he played in the away series against Australia in 2020/21, picking up seven wickets and a half-century in Brisbane. But he wasn’t even in the 15 man squad decided before the WTC final.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Sanjay Manjrekar Picks India’s XI For The WTC Final Vs New Zealand

Sanjay Manjrekar, former India cricketer and now a renowned broadcaster, picked India’s XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand starting on June 18th at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

There were two selections by Sanjay Manjrekar that might go against popular belief as predicted by fans and experts alike. The former India batsman decided to drop spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and pick Ravichandran Ashwin as the sole spinner provided the conditions in England are nothing out of the ordinary.

“I’m assuming you have typical English conditions. I’m assuming there will be a mixture of sun and cloudy cover throughout the five days of the Test match if it goes the distance. So, I’m picking the team accordingly,” Manjrekar said in an ESPNCricinfo video.

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari. AP Photo

The former Mumbai cricketer decided to pick India’s XI with only four bowlers. He picked Test specialist batsman Hanuma Vihari in his XI instead of Ravindra Jadeja to provide extra cushion to the batsmen.

“Going to have Hanuma Vihari to reward him for his brilliant innings before he got injured. India will need somebody with a more compact defensive technique. Because the guys at the top of the order, barring Pujara, aren’t those kinds.

“So, I will have Hanuma Vihari at number 6. Pant at 7, considering India has hardly had any practice game. I just want to make sure the batting runs deep,” Manjrekar added.

There were no surprises in the top five. Sanjay Manjrekar went in with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill as the openers with Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane taking the No. 3, 4, and 5 spots respectively.

Hanuma Vihari’s last India outing was in the Sydney Test against Australia, where his epic four-hour vigil (23 not out), with a torn hamstring alongside Ravichandran Ashwin, saved the game for the visiting team. He made his Test debut for India in September 2018 and has played 12 Tests. He is a right-handed batsman and occasional right-arm off-break bowler.

Sanjay Manjrekar Picks Mohammed Siraj Instead Of Ishant Sharma

“Want Siraj, the swing bowler to be brought into the equation, and the last time Siraj bowled overseas in Australia, [he] got a five-wicket haul. Hard to leave a bowler like him out. You will be tempted to think of Siraj because when you look at Shami, Bumrah, and Ishant, they are more seam bowlers, hit-the-deck kind of bowlers.

“Siraj might offer something different. I would go with Siraj, but India might play Ishant for obvious reasons,” he added.

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

While having Ishant Sharma is a must in Australia for his height and the bounce he generates, in England, Virat Kohli may opt for a little more variety and bring in Mohammed Siraj. The Hyderabad-based pacer has done wonders in the last few months.

He has troubled England batsmen on lifeless Indian pitches while bowling match-winning figures in Australia as he spearheaded the pace attack and was India’s highest wicket-taker with 13 scalps.

Sanjay Manjrekar’s playing XI for WTC final:

Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

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