Sanjay Manjrekar feels Ravindra Jadeja is himself aware that there is competition brewing for his spot in India's side for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022.
Jadeja is one among the four spinners picked in the 15-member Indian squad for the Asia Cup 2022 to be played in the UAE from August 27. Apart from his bowling, the left-arm spinner has been picked for his ability to contribute runs down the order and his athletic fielding.
During an interaction on the Sports 18 show 'Sports Over the Top', Manjrekar was asked about Jadeja's place in India's T20 World Cup side. He replied:
"Ravindra Jadeja himself knows there is some serious competition coming in. So it's really about Jadeja now convincing the selectors whether he is going to be a bowling all-rounder or a batting all-rounder."
Manjrekar reckons the Chennai Super Kings all-rounder needs to prove that he is a better bowler than Axar Patel if he wants to play as a bowling all-rounder. The former Indian batter elaborated:
"Depending on that, his place in the team will be decided. If he is competing as a bowling all-rounder, he has got to convince the team management that he is better than Axar Patel as a second spinning option."
"If he is going to be a batting all-rounder, then has got to show that he is an adequate replacement to somebody like a Dinesh Karthik, who is likely to bat at No. 6 or No. 7, or somebody like a Hardik Pandya at No. 6."
Ravindra Jadeja is unlikely to be used at No. 6 or higher in the Indian batting lineup. The Indian team management is probably looking at him to add depth to the batting at No. 7 and perform the fifth bowler's role along with Hardik.
"I think you know the answer" - Sanjay Manjrekar on whether Ravindra Jadeja can be a 4-over bowler
Manjrekar was further asked if he sees Jadeja as a four-over bowler. He responded:
"I think you know the answer. I think we all know and I have maintained that Jadeja in T20 cricket, and we have seen in the Indian T20 league, bowls at a certain time. He is not somebody you can go to in the first six overs whereas you can with Axar Patel."
The cricketer-turned-analyst concluded by observing that Axar and Ravichandran Ashwin are better suited to play a specialist spinner's role. He explained:
"But Axar Patel the batter versus Jadeja the batter, there is a little difference there. So it's really about the team management deciding whether they want a batting all-rounder or a bowling all-rounder. Ashwin and Axar Patel have a stronger claim than Jadeja as a pure bowler."
While Ashwin is part of India's Asia Cup squad, Axar has only been included in the reserves. Although the duo have also shown their prowess with the bat in recent times, the Indian think tank might want to go with a more reliable batter in Jadeja at No. 7.
Q. Should Axar Patel be picked ahead of Ravindra Jadeja in India's T20 World Cup squad?
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