With the Indian team losing the WTC final against New Zealand as the Kiwis outplayed Kohli’s men, the cricket experts are putting forth their word on what went wrong for India. While some feel that the Indian pacer’s swing didn’t match their opponent's skills, others are of the opinion that poor team selection led to the collapse of the Indian side.
Having a similar opinion, Indian commentator Sanjay Manjrekar feels that playing Ravindra Jadeja for his batting in the WTC final was a big gamble that the Indian side took, which backfired. Manjrekar feels that on a pitch that favoured fast bowlers, Jadeja’s inclusion was surprising as India then played with only 3 seamers in England’s conditions.
"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 Ravindra 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", said Manjrekar.
The 32-year-old picked a single wicket in 1st innings and scored 15 and 16 runs, respectively, with the bat in the WTC final.
Jadeja was picked for his batting and that is something that I am always against: Manjrekar
The Indian commentator feels that the inclusion of Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI was debatable given that the overhead conditions favoured seamers. "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," the commentator expressed.
He also advised that if the Indian side had to pick a specialist to contribute down the order, they might as well have gone for Hanuma Vihari who has a pretty good defence and possibly then, the Indian side’s score could’ve gone till 220, 230 or even 250 in the second innings.
“But I hope India don'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,” he further added.