KL Rahul lifted the Player of the Match trophy for his unbeaten knock of 57 on Sunday in Auckland where India chased down New Zealand's score of 132/5 in the second T20I with 7 wickets and 15 deliveries to spare. Although Rahul's handy innings in the run chase earned him an award, someone wasn't happy.
Former cricketer turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar took to his Twitter account to express his displeasure with the trophy being awarded to a batsman instead of a bowler.
Manjrekar wrote: "Player of the match should have been a bowler."
Player of the match should have been a bowler. #INDvNZ— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) January 26, 2020
What Manjrekar was suggesting was that the Indian bowlers kept it tight and restricted the Kiwis to a paltry score of 132, hence it was an easier chase for the visitors.
While the frontline Indian pacers Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah kept things below run a ball, it was the all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja who was the pick of the bowlers, scalping 2 Kiwi wickets and giving away only 18 in his designated 4 overs.
Jadeja removed the dangerous New Zealander skipper Kane Williamson and Colin de Grandhomme, hence giving no momentum whatsoever to the home side.
Was Manjrekar suggesting that Jadeja was a better contender for the Player of the Match trophy? Curious to know, Jadeja seemingly in a goofy mood, himself took to Twitter to clear the air and ask the commentator to name names in his otherwise cryptic tweet.
What is the name of that bowler?? Pls pls mention— Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) January 27, 2020
If you have just arrived to the party, Manjrekar-Jadeja's not-so-light-hearted banter dates back to last year where the former had called Jadeja "bits and pieces" cricketer after India lost to England in a World Cup contest.
"I am not a big fan of bits and pieces players which Jadeja is at this point of his career in 50-over cricket. In Test matches, he is a pure bowler. But in 50-over cricket, I would rather have a batsman and a spinner," Manjrekar told IANS.
Not the one to mince words, Jadeja gave it back to Manjrekar on the microblogging site, saying he had played for India in far more matches than him.
Still i have played twice the number of matches you have played and i m still playing. Learn to respect ppl who have achieved.i have heard enough of your verbal diarrhoea.@sanjaymanjrekar— Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) July 3, 2019
Since the ugly spat, cricket fans have been backing Jadeja in the popcorn-worthy clash, especially when the Indian all-rounder is out in the middle while Manjrekar is performing his commentating duties from the box.
This was in full display during Men in Blue's final group stage encounter with the Lankans at the 2019 World Cup in England where Jadeja, bowling his first over of the match and the World Cup, deceived Kusal Mendis in the 11th over and Dhoni completed a routine stumping.
If you ever thought your existence was painful, just switch on the TV & watch Manjrekar doing commentary while Jadeja is bowling beautifully #INDvSL— Shridhar V (@iimcomic) July 6, 2019
Meanwhile, New Zealand will meet India on Wednesday in the third T20I at Seddon Park in Hamilton in a bid to keep the series alive.
India lead the 5-match T20I series 2-0 after Auckland win.