'His batting in Tests has gone to a different level' - Manjrekar lauds Jadeja
Life seems to have come full circle in the controversial Sanjay Manjrekar-Ravindra Jadeja feud. Four years after hogging the limelight with a below-the-belt "verbal diarrhoea" remark in response to the leading commentator's "bits-and-pieces" comment during the 2019 World Cup, Jadeja has come up for overwhelming praise from Manjrekar.
Manjrekar heaped effusive praise on the premier Test allrounder after he emerged as the stand-out Indian batter on Day 2 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval. Even as Australia tightened the screws on other batters to reduce India to 151/5 in response to their daunting 469 all out, Jadeja sparkled bright with his freeflowing 48 off 51.
The defensive and attacking prowess on show on a track offering uneven bounce from dryish patches and responding with venom to a tall-statured and unrelenting Aussie pace attack only reinforced Ravindra Jadeja's magnificent rise as an allround Test cricketer for India.
The 34-year-old enjoys an unparallel two-skill record in world cricket for good 5-6 years now. Since the beginning of 2017, he has a mighty impressive batting average of 43.40 for 1,858 runs made over 40 Tests alongside a bowling average of only 24.53 with 154 scalps.
Manjrekar hails Jadeja the allrounder
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo after Day 2 of the WTC final in England, Manjrekar said Jadeja's impact value and skill bank as a left-arm spinner were never in doubt, but he has truly transformed into a world-beater since elevating his batting abilities two notches higher. The former India player said Jadeja is a "proper batter" in own right at No.6 for India now.
"He [Jadeja] was very upset when he got out. [It] shows the kind of expectations that he has from himself," Manjrekar said. "His batting in Tests has gone to a different level. He has this confidence to keep leaving balls outside the off stump. This is a guy who has got the confidence now and it’s amazing how much it transforms a player. Consistency is the ultimate yardstick to judge a good performer and that is what you see with Jadeja."
"Yet another vital innings against the odds in a tough situation, like the last time he was in England in that one-off Test match with Rishabh Pant. He’s again given India the runs, maybe not enough, but he’s shown his value. He's batting at No. 6 like a proper batter now," he added.
India would've dearly loved Jadeja to cross the fifty-run mark and build his stay into a substantial innings as they navigate through strife and fight for survival in the Test match on Day 3. With the Aussies breathing fire from both ends, a sizeable lead can tilt the WTC final decisively their way.