While Sanjay Manjrekar and Ravindra Jadeja have a bit of history, the cricketer turned commentator did not shy away from sharing his views on the all-rounder on the first day of the Oval Test on Thursday. Manjrekar was not pleased with Jadeja's promotion in the batting order while trying to analyse India's batting order in the fourth Test match.
Notably, Jadeja, who often bats at number seven for India in Test matches, walked in to bat ahead of Ajinkya Rahane at number five in the fourth Test. However, the decision backfired as the left-hander departed for just ten runs. Jadeja became the victim of England's comeback man Chris Woakes.
It was a disaster waiting for Jadeja in these conditions: Manjrekar
Talking about India's performance to Sony Sports Network, Manjrekar said that India seems to have overestimated Jadeja's batting ability in overseas conditions. The former India cricketer outlined that Jadeja is a better batsman in home conditions but does not seem to be too effective when the ball is swinging.
"I think the T20 way of thinking has come in. I think they overestimated the ability of Jadeja to play at No. 5. In these conditions, it was a disaster waiting for him. I think Indian cricket is overestimating Jadeja's batting ability in overseas conditions," said Manjrekar.
"In India, send him at No. 5, there is going to be no problem. In these conditions, we saw while he was out there when the ball was swinging, he didn't look comfortable," he added.
England has four left-handers, so a good match-up for Jadeja: Virat Kohli
Earlier India captain Virat Kohli also faced criticism for continuing to leave out Ravichandran Ashwin from the XI for the fourth Test in the series. Justifying his decision, the 32-year-old, who scored a half-century in India's first innings at the Oval, said that with England having four left-handers, Jadeja should do well with the seamers operating from over the wicket, creating a rough patch for him to exploit.
"England has four left-handers, so a good match-up for Jadeja, with our seamers bowling over the wicket. Also, it factors into his balance at No.7," Kohli said.
However, the team's decision to not give the number two ranked Test bowler in the world in Ashwin a chance in the series did not go down to well with several cricket experts and pundits. Former England captain Michael Vaughan even went ahead to term Ashwin's non-selection as "madness."