With Due Respect, Jadeja, Hardik Are No Yuvraj Singh: Waqar-manjrekar Debate Gets Intense During Ind Vs Pak Rain Break

With Due Respect, Jadeja, Hardik Are No Yuvraj Singh: Waqar-Manjrekar Debate Gets Intense During Ind Vs Pak Rain Break

Will Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja be able to perform a Yuvraj Singh-like role from 2011 World Cup? Waqar Younis and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss.

Yuvraj Singh’s role in India’s 2011 World Cup win will always stand the test of time. The champion match-winner headed into the cricketing spectacle low on form but when it was time for him to shine through, Yuvraj put up a Player of the Series worthy tournament as India won the trophy. Besides displaying ravaging touch throughout the tournament scoring 362 runs, Yuvraj proved to be an asset with the ball as well grabbing 15 wickets. Twelve years have passed, yet India continues its quest to find the successor to Yuvraj Singh, and with a World Cup approaching, the ‘who will fill Yuvraj’s shoes’ discussions have picked pace. (India vs Pakistan Live Score, Asia Cup Super 4)

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On Saturday, as the India vs Pakistan Asia Cup Super-Four match came to a halt due to rain and wet outfield, a discussion regarding the same made heads turn. Former India cricketers Sanjay Manjrekar and Waqar Younis were involved in a debate as to whether all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya can play the same role as Yuvraj did at the 2011 World Cup. While Waqar seemed confident of Hardik’s skillets, Manjrekar shared a different point of view altogether.

“Look at what Hardik and Jadeja bring to the table. They are well equipped with both bat and ball. Especially Hardik Pandya – the way he batted against Pakistan – I think he is a really destructive batter at No. 6. Any team would love to have someone like him. He is aggressive, and now as we saw in the previous match, he is very sensible and smart,” the former Pakistan pacer told the host broadcaster.

“He played like a champion. He took his time and when the time was right, he pushed his natural game. I feel that these 2 at No. 6 and 7 will give India that push. All they want to do is not lose early wickets. If you give these 2 last 10 overs, they can chase the game pretty quickly.”

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Waqar’s comments come after Hardik played a brilliant and composed innings of 87 off 90 balls. The innings, in many ways, brought back memories of the kind of knock MS Dhoni used to play whenever India were in trouble. At 66/4, Hardik joined forces with Ishan Kishan and put on a 138-run partnership, during the which the all-rounder bided his time before cutting loose. Hardik mixed caution and aggression with perfection smashing 7 fours and a six to come close to registering his maiden ODI century. However, despite his heroics and Jadeja’s consistency, Manjrekar feels India’s all-round duo cannot be India’s pick to perform a Yuvraj-like role for the reasons he explained.

Manjrekar-Waqar debate gets intense
“Yuvraj is arguably India’s best white-ball batter. He could win games and was in a different league. Hardik and Jadeja, with due respect, aren’t quite there. These 2 are far better bowlers than Yuvraj Singh but because that one discipline was so discipled…” said Manjrekar, before Waqar cut him off. “Not even Hardik Pandya? With the kind of batting that he has shown? I am not comparing them but the intention is there,” said the former Pakistan captain.

Manjrekar continued to articulate his viewpoint, and for the most part, it was reasonable. There remains some ambiguity regarding Hardik’s ability to complete his full 10 overs while bowling. Although the combined skill set of Hardik and Jadeja may surpass Yuvraj’s all-round abilities, neither of them has yet established their batting to match Yuvi’s consistent contributions with the bat.

“He has the potential but when I see him at this stage, it’s not a guarantee that he will come and bowl all 10 overs like one of the mainstream bowlers. I see him as more of a batting all-rounder and he batted really well in the last game. So yes, they have this combined skill to make the kind of contribution made but one discipline of Yuvraj Singh, like I said, was at a different level. In pitches that help Jadeja the bowler, his batting will come through but Hardik the batter doesn’t need a bad ball or loose ball to decide that this needs to go,” he mentioned.

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