New Delhi: Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has raised questions on India’s playing XI selection for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand. The cricket analyst stated that the Indian team picked Jadeja for his batting abilities and it backfired in the big match. Manjrekar feels the Virat Kohli-led team should have gone with a specialist player in the final XI.

Meanwhile, India had announced its playing XI a day prior to the summit clash as they picked two spinners. As the opening day of the Test match was completely washed due to rain, the Indian team had a chance to alter their final XI. In fact, as there were overcast conditions, many cricket boffins thought India might drop one of their spinners and will play the fourth seamer in Mohammed Siraj. However, it was not to be the case as Kohli decided to back Jadeja.

It should also be noted that Jadeja has been in good form with the bat in the recent past but he could not hog the strike in the first innings as the team was skittled out for 217 runs. However, Jadeja picked a wicket in the first dig but bowled only 15.2 overs in the whole match.

“If you have to look at how India went about before the game started, picking two spinners was always a debatable selection especially when the conditions were overcast and the toss was delayed by a day. They picked one player for his batting, which was Jadeja, and his left-arm spin wasn’t the reason he was picked. He was picked for his batting and that is something that I am always against,” Manjrekar said on ESPNCricinfo.

“You have got to pick specialist players in the team and if they felt that the pitch was dry and turning, they would have picked Jadeja for his left-arm spin, along with Ashwin, that would have made sense. But they picked him for his batting and I think that backfired as mostly it does.”

Manjrekar added that India should have played an extra batsman in Hanuma Vihari as the runs were hard to come by in the difficult conditions.

“Had they had a specialist batsman in Hanuma Vihari for example, who had a pretty good defence, that would have been handy. Maybe 170 could have been 220, 225 or 230, who knows?” added Manjrekar.

“But I hope India don’t do what England have historically done, pick somebody because there is another strength that they have and that strength might just come to good use, but very rarely it does when it’s a pressure game.”

Earlier, during the 2019 World Cup, Manjrekar had called Ravindra Jadeja a bit and pieces player and it had sparked a big controversy for the commentator.