Even Hardik Pandya will not be in my team: Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar also revealed that he has been sacked as commentator twice before.

Sanjay Manjrekar and Hardik Pandya
Sanjay Manjrekar and Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has come up with yet another bold comment with Hardik Pandya being the target this time. Known for making bold remarks, the former cricketer-turned-commentator recently explained his selection thought process and said that he would always prefer specialists than bits-and-pieces all-rounders.

Manjrekar had found himself in the mid of a huge controversy last year due to the same comment after referring to Ravindra Jadeja as ‘bits and pieces’ cricketer. Not only the fans, Jadeja had also slammed the outspoken commentator for his words. And recently, he spoke about that term once again while explaining the reason behind the importance of having specialists in the team.

He stated that he personally has no problems with such players but their spots in the limited-overs teams. Sanjay Manjrekar said that specialists should be preferred over all-rounders who do a bit of batting and bowling. He also claimed that even Pandya would not manage to get a place in his team, saying that players like him add ‘illusory value’.

“My selection and thoughts are based on a principle that I have learned over the years: if you have specialists who can walk-in based on one discipline, you fill your team with those players. I do not have a problem with Jadeja; I have a problem with his kind of cricketers in white-ball cricket,” Manjrekar told The Hindu.

“Even Hardik Pandya will not be in my team. They add illusory value to the team. Of course, I have always rated Jadeja highly in the Test format,” he added.

Sanjay Manjrekar on his sacking as commentator

Earlier this year, Sanjay Manjrekar was earlier dropped from the BCCI commentary panel. The board didn’t explain the reason behind the sacking but it was widely believed that Manjrekar was shown the door for his controversial comments. Speaking about it, he said he has faced such situations earlier as well.

“Not many people know that I have been removed earlier as well. It was something I tweeted. It’s not easy, of course, but in many, I have become thick-skinned about such things. Commentary has always been the most sought-after job for cricketers post retirement. But now, people are very sensitive and everything gets amplified due to multiple media platforms. So, one has to be careful, but there is still a lot of value for truth,” said Manjrekar.

“I do not claim to be right, but I claim to be pure and speak from the heart. A lot of people get pessimistic that I am still around as a commentator, but the fact that channels still offer me a job proves that this path is not a bad one to take,” he added.