Ravindra Jadeja used every ounce of his ‘bits and pieces’ skill to take Team India over the line in a thrilling ICC World Cup 2019 semifinal against New Zealand but fell just short of scripting history on Wednesday. Chasing a tricky target of 240 on a damp pitch, India’s famed top-order imploded on a day when it mattered most as a gritty New Zealand survived Jadeja scare to reach their second consecutive final of the world event.
Coming in to bat at number eight spot, Jadeja played a blinder of 77 off just 59 balls to take the Men in Blue closer to the target. With MS Dhoni, he knitted a crucial 116-run partnership for the seventh wicket to provide the capacity Indian crowd a ray of hope. Former India cricketer turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, who had called Jadeja a ‘bits and pieces cricketer’ also appreciated the left-hander for his brave knock. Manjrekar wrote on Twitter, “Well played Jadeja” and added a wink at the end of his tweet.
Manjrekar’s sarcasm-filled compliment didn’t go down well with the cricket fans who wasted no time in bashing the commentator for his jibe on India’s poster boy for the day.
Jadeja had not played in the first 8 matches of India’s World Cup campaign barring some occasional appearances as a substitute fielder. However, Jadeja was included for India’s final group-stage match against Sri Lanka.
Speaking after the loss against Kiwis, skipper Virat Kohli stood up and took the all-rounder’s side and said that Jadeja was one of the most understated cricketers and that he once again showed what he was capable off when he brought the team back from the jaws of defeat to an almost improbable victory in the semifinal at the Old Trafford on Wednesday.
“I don’t think any of us had to say anything to Jadeja after what happened over the last one week. He was quite ready to just get on to the park, to be honest. And you saw the passion with which he played and we have seen it in Test cricket a few times, he’s played knocks under tremendous pressure and he’s got three triple hundreds in first class cricket if I’m not wrong. So obviously the talent has always been there”.