Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar added that all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s unbeaten 81-run knock on Day 2 has helped India stay in a commanding position against England in the first Test. The veteran also believes that Ben Stokes-led side could lose the game by an innings as the hosts extended their first innings lead to 175 runs as well. At stumps on Day 2, India were 421/7, with Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel in the middle as well.
Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo: “It looks like Ravindra Jadeja’s innings has ensured an innings defeat for England. I think Yashasvi Jaiswal and KL Rahul’s over-attacking game prevented them from their centuries, but I don’t think that the century is important.”
Meanwhile, Sanjay Manjrekar further shared a couple of flaws in Ben Stokes’ captaincy. He also said that Ben Stokes brought on Joe Root too late, introducing him only on Day 2 as well. The off-spinner dismissed the left-handed batter but didn’t bowl on Day 1 where Jaiswal scored 76 runs. Manjrekar also added that the visitors should have added veteran pacer James Anderson into the playing XI as their spin trio – Tom Hartley, Jack Leach, and Rehan Ahmed -failed to do well.
“Ben Stokes’ made the late decision to bring in Joe Root to bowl, especially against Yashasvi Jaiswal. England should have kept both Mark Wood and James Anderson in the playing XI. Both are quality bowlers. They actually played more spinners [than usual],” he stated.
Meanwhile, Sanjay Manjrekar has said that England’s Joe Root was over-aggressive with the bat on Day 1 of their ongoing Test. After coming in, Root got off to a great start, scoring 29 runs. However, his over-dependence on the sweep shot cost him his wicket to Ravindra Jadeja.
Manjrekar said on ESPNcricinfo: “I thought Joe Root did the aggressive approach a little too much. He maybe came in with a preconceived approach, but he’s far good a player to only look at one way of scoring.”Had he maybe trusted his defence a little more and played as per the merit of the ball, because all three spinners that bowled today weren’t also at their best, that would have been a more suitable approach for somebody of the calibre of Joe Root.”
“Two batters that stood out for me today were Ben Stokes and Joe Root. They looked secure in defence. And for guys who are not feeling vulnerable or anxious while they’re defending, they can perhaps not play out of the box too much, like Ben Stokes didn’t for a long time before he started realizing that he’s running out of partners. But until then, he was happy to just defend and survive,” he shared.
However, Sanjay Manjrekar also added that England openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett began their innings quite well, batting positively against Indian pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.
“We saw Bazball against the seam bowlers. When Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah came in to bowl their first spells, they weren’t allowed to settle in. You saw that different approach from England as opposed to some of the foreign teams that have come in the past.”But as the spinners came in to bowl, and the reality of the pitch started to unfold, you saw them struggling to get results with the Bazball approach, barring Ben Stokes, who is an exceptional player. When you talk about general batting, you exclude Ben Stokes from that,” he concluded.