India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has opened up about his iconic sword celebration against New Zealand in the World Cup 2019 semi-final, saying that he was ‘searching for the commentary box’ at that moment.
Jadeja, arguably the best all-rounder in world cricket at present, wasn’t an automatic choice for India before he got his mojo back. Hardik Pandya‘s struggle with injury helped Jadeja find his way into the national set-up, making life difficult for the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
The prolific all-rounder, who has so far played 51 Tests, 168 ODIs, and 50 T20Is, adds flexibility to the Indian team with his wide-ranging abilities. One of Jadeja’s career-best knock came against the Kiwis in the World Cup 2019 almost two years ago.
Though Virat Kohli and Co fell short of the target in the semi-final clash, Jadeja’s 77-run knock gained praise. He was also brilliant on the field, recording bowling figures of 1/34 in his 10 overs along with taking two catches and inflicting a run-out.
Jadeja’s valiant knock was also a reply to cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, who had labelled the Saurashtra cricketer as a ‘bits and pieces player’. Jadeja had also hit back by calling Manjrekar’s remark ‘verbal diarrhea’.
“I am not a big fan of bits and pieces players which Jadeja is at this point of his career in 50-over cricket. In Test matches, he is a pure bowler. But in 50-over cricket, I would rather have a batsman and a spinner,” Manjrekar had said.
When asked about his half-century celebration in a recent interview, Jadeja said it was targeted towards Manjrekar.
“We can’t mention the famous 2019 semi-final celebration towards Sanjay Manjrekar after the fifty! (Manjrekar had previously termed him a “bits and pieces” cricketer). Did you plan it? Did you know where the commentary box was?” the question said.
In response to the question, the India allrounder replied: “Tab toh Bhatta garam tha, na! (The grill was hot, then!) I was searching for the commentary box. Then I thought, it must be somewhere there, only. And those who understand would know who I was targeting the celebration at! (laughs).”