'You have got to pick specialist players' – Sanjay Manjrekar believes Ravindra Jadeja’s inclusion in WTC final backfired Team India

Ravindra Jadeja couldn't impress much in the WTC final.

Sanjay Majrekar and Ravindra Jadeja
Sanjay Majrekar and Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: Twitter and Getty Images)

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Test cricket was indeed at its best in the ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand. Fans witnessed some exciting contest at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. However, the Blackcaps emerged victorious at the end by eight wickets and walked away with the prestigious title. Although Team India also put up a substantial fight in the summit clash, few things didn’t go their way and as a result, they fell short of the glory.

Speaking of what went wrong with Virat Kohli’s men, former cricketer and renowned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar opined that India missed a trick by including all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI on a pace-friendly Southampton track. Manjrekar also said that the southpaw was inducted in the side majorly due to his batting skills. However, the gamble didn’t work as Jadeja scored 15 and 16 in both innings. He also picked just one wicket in the game.

Ravindra Jadeja was picked for his batting and that is something that I am always against: Sanjay Manjrekar

“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,” Manjrekar said on ESPNCricinfo.

For the unversed, Jadeja has been a vital cog of India’s Test team for quite some time. While his overall bowling record is nothing but staggering, the southpaw’s batting stocks have been on an upward curve in the last three years or so. However, Manjrekar always had some reservations for the veteran all-rounder as he, on several occasions, raised questions over his selection. He didn’t hesitate to do so again after India’s defeat in the WTC final.

“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 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,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Indian Test team is now gearing up for the five-match series against hosts England, starting from August. Skipper Virat Kohli, after India’s loss in the summit clash, indicated that the team combination might be changed for the upcoming fixtures. Hence, it would be interesting to see what strategy will the visiting team opt against the Three Lions.