Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has been left utterly displeased by the tactics of the South African captain, Dean Elgar, in the ongoing second Test in Johannesburg. Sanjay Manjrekar slammed Elgar for giving spinner Keshav Maharaj the last over of Day 2 for the sake of “formality”.
In the second innings, which India had started with a deficit of 27 runs, they lost both the openers, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, for 44 runs. With Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane still new to the crease, and hoping to see off the last over, Dean Elgar introduced left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj for the last over of the day. Pujara happily took a couple of boundaries from Maharaj’s over to end the day on a positive note.
Sanjay Manjrekar criticized this ploy by the Protea skipper, saying that Elgar’s move didn’t make sense, and that he should have had one of his pacers bowl the last over of the day on a surface that was helping the seamers.
“Today, just watching that last session, it was just ridiculous. And it was topped up with Keshav Maharaj bowling the last over. Just as a formality. It’s like that old-fashioned thing that we do with one over to go. Let’s bowl a left-arm spinner,” Sanjay Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo.
“How does that make any sense on a pitch that has so much for seamers? Why not one more over from Lungi Ngidi? Just imagine how delighted Pujara and Rahane would’ve been to see Maharaj bowling the last over,” he added.
Further, the commentator also questioned speedster Kagiso Rabada’s tactics of bowling full deliveries to the Indian batters, which allowed the likes of Mayank Agarwal and Pujara to score some quick runs early on in their innings.
“What has happened to Rabada? It’s so frustrating watching him as well. That suddenly he wants to be the Jimmy Anderson kind of a bowler. The amount of driving balls that he has given to the Indian batters in both innings, it’s been ridiculous to say the least. Although Dean Elgar didn’t give Rabada and (Duanne) Olivier too much overs with the new ball, the amount of driving balls given in the Test match by South Africa when the pitch is your greatest ally. It just baffles me,” Manjrekar exclaimed.
“When I was there in 90’s, driving balls, you’d get rarely. Two or three per session. But here you are getting three or four per over. And every ball has been driven for four. Such ridiculous tactics from South Africa,” he added.