Ravindra Jadeja silenced all his doubters with his supreme all-round performance against New Zealand, but praise from perhaps his staunchest critic, former India cricketer and commentator Sanjay Mankrekar, did not come without sub-text.
Jadeja, after his brilliance in the field also displayed his prowess with the bat on Wednesday, slamming 77 runs off just 58 balls as he took India close to the target after the top order collapsed. Although the effort proved to be in vain in the end as India lost by 18 runs, his fighting spirit won the hearts of fans and pundits alike.
Manjrekar, whose bitter criticism of Jadeja has been one of the biggest sub-plots of the World Cup, also had to laud the performance. “Well played Jadeja!” the former Test player tweeted with a wink emoji.
The tweet quickly garnered a lot of attention online as fans took offence to the 'sarcastic' emoji used by Manjrekar and said the praise for the all-rounder should have been unreserved.
How low sanjay manjrekar you will fall? Look likes your celebrating India's defeat as credit would have gone to Jadeja if India had won the match. Sanjay yours new in list of Anti-Natinals. — Kejriwal Jong Un (@LagbhagSecular) July 10, 2019
How fcking low mate. That wink was absolutely unnecessary and uncalled for. Kis baat ka attitude hai tere me? — Shivanshi Dixit (@ShivanshiDixit) July 10, 2019
He chopped u into #BitsNPieces didnt he? (hope u witnessed his celebration upon reaching 50) And since u didnt have the guts to tag him ..I am doing the honours @imjadeja#CWC19 #JadejaVsManjrekar #RavindraJadeja — Sameer (@BesuraTaansane) July 10, 2019
Utterly disgusting Manjrekar. Are you mocking Jadeja and also team India? Seems you are quite happy that we lost! Not surprised though. The tweet and the emogi reflects how shallow you are. — (@VandanaJayrajan) July 10, 2019
@ICC take whatever you want just throw this man out of the commentary. He is soo full of negativity & hatred i bet there are better commentators from India you can hire them. #CWC19 — Astronaut (@TheRobustRascal) July 10, 2019
We would have accepted it as a sportsman spirit but the way u used a winking emoji , you lost people’s respect. As if u r happy that @imjadeja couldn’t take the team to the finals. Disgusting. You were never a great player and doesn’t seems to be a good human being too #CWC2019 — Anil Singhvi Zee Business (@AnilSinghviZEE) July 10, 2019
Manjrekar had earlier been panned for his “bits and pieces” comment regarding Jadeja, with the player himself taking the commentator on for his “verbal diarrhoea”. But Manjrekar had stood his ground and before the semi-final had argued that Jadeja should not be picked for the match against New Zealand based on his past record.
Some former players, including former England captain Michael Vaughan, have trolled Manjrekar for his assessments of Jadeja’s talent, so much so that the commentator had to block the latter on Twitter. But in the end, Jadeja’s performance seems to have had the last word in this showdown.
In the post match show, Manjrekar admitted that Jadeja had proved him wrong and said that the India all-rounder completely ripped him apart with his sheer brilliance on the field. "Bits and pieces he just ripped me apart today. By bits and pieces of sheer brilliance just proved me wrong on all fronts," he said.
But then he added, "This Ravindra Jadeja we have not seen very often. In the last 40 innings his highest score was 33."
"But today he was brilliant. Economical with the ball, and that familiar celebration that you see after he gets to his fifties," Manjrekar said in a video posted by the ICC.