‘It Was Just Ridiculous.’: Sanjay Manjrekar slams Dean Elgar’s Bowling Changes on Day 2

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Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar slammed South Africa for their bowling choices on Day 2 of the ongoing second Test against India at the Wanderers. He criticised Proteas’ captain Dean Elgar for giving the last over to left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.

Earlier in the ongoing New Year Test, the visitors were bundled out at 202, as the erratic nature of the Wanderers pitch helped the South African pacers, who scalped all 11 wickets on Day 2. Similarly, the hosts were all out for 229, thanks to Shardul Thakur’s exceptional 7/61.

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With a trail of 27 runs, KL Rahul-led India started their second innings in the third session. Once again, the Proteas’ bowlers troubled the Indian batters, as both in-form openers Rahul and Mayank Agarwal were dismissed by the 12th over. However, to finish the day, Elgar chose to hand the ball to Maharaj to bowl the last over.

Questioning the hosts’ tactics, Manjrekar said they did a ‘formality’ by throwing the ball to a spinner.

“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,” Manjrekar said.

“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 in the discussion, Manjrekar trained his guns on South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada for his mediocre bowling against India. He also pointed out that the 26-year-old gave too many driving balls, which were ‘ridiculous’.

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“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 said.

“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.

Meanwhile, Indian batters Pujara (35*) and Ajinkya Rahane (11*) remained unbeaten by stumps, as India ended Day 2 of the 2nd Test at 85/2, with a lead of 58 runs.

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