Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar questioned India’s decision to send Ravindra Jadeja at No. 5 on Day 1 of the 4th Test between England and India at the Oval in London on Thursday.
In a move that helped raise a few eyebrows, India sent Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant after they were reduced to 29 for 3. India lost their openers Rohit Shama and KL Rahul along with Cheteshwar Pujara cheaply.
However, the move did not yield the desired results as Jadeja fell for 10, poking at a delivery from Chris Woakes to Joe Root at second slip. Jadeja did not look comfortable during his stay in the middle after having been picked as the specialist all-rounder in the 4th Test.
Speaking to Sony Sports, Sanjay Manjrekar said India are overestimating Ravindra Jadeja’s ability with the bat in overseas conditions and that he is a more than decent batsman at home.
“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 hi,” Manjrekar said.
“I think Indian cricket is overestimating Jadeja’s batting ability in overseas conditions. 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.
Jadeja has played all 4 Tests in the series and has done well with the tail so far. Having come ahead of Rahane and Pant, Jadeja did not make good use of the opportunity that came his way.
Jadeja averages 30 away from home, a little less than his career average of 34.32. However, his average dips to 27.93 in England.
Meanwhile, former India pacer Ajit Agarkar questioned why India did not pick an extra batsman if they felt they had problems with their batting in English conditions.
Notably, India were bowled out for 191 with tail-ender Shardul Thakur topping the batting charts with 57. Captain Virat Kohli hit 50 but the big guns, including Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, failed to get going on Thursday.
“I think the team selection… enough has been spoken about the it. If you think, these conditions are difficult to bat, why not have an extra batsman? And then 4 bowlers should be able to get the job done, considering these bowlers are fit,” Agarkar said.