After getting to his fifty in the semi-final against New Zealand, Ravindra Jadeja pointed to the press box. He was sending a message to Sanjay Manjrekar at whom he had lashed out on Twitter for, apparently, calling him a 'bits and pieces cricketer.' As would be expected, Manjrekar has been getting a lot of heat since then and many fans have mocked, ridiculed and even insulted the broadcaster.
While Manjrekar was wrong in considering Jadeja a bits and pieces cricketer as he has been one of India's frontline spin bowlers in all three formats since 2013, it doesn't mean that he doesn't have a right to express his opinion. As a commentator and analyst, Manjrekar has to offer his candid and honest views on the game and not worry about PR. It's part of his job. Every cricketer has faced criticism and that doesn't mean that the critics have a personal hatred for that cricketer.
But there is another reason why Jadeja should not have reacted the way he did to Manjrekar's comments. Over the years, far from being critical of him, Manjrekar has been full of praise for the all-rounder from Saurashtra. The series which established Jaddu as a frontline Test spin bowler was India's four-match rubber at home against Australia in 2013. Coming into the series, Pragyan Ojha was regarded as the leading spinner in the team. But Manjrekar backed Jadeja as the better option due to his bowling style – faster and flatter – which, he felt, would be more dangerous on the kind of pitches India were bowling on.
Since then, Manjrekar has also been, quite often, praising Jadeja's fielding abilities to the sky. In fact, during one of the matches in the World Cup, when he was in the field as a substitute fielder and made a good save, Manjrekar even said this about the 30-year old: "He is one fielder that I would pay to watch just for his fielding." He went further by praising his style: "It's not just good fielding but the way he does it that is so good to watch. He is a very stylish fielder."
This is just one example. Manjrekar has often heaped praise on the left-arm spinner. For him to attack the veteran broadcaster by saying, as he did in a tweet, "Still I have played twice the number of matches you have played and I am still playing. Learn to respect people who have achieved. I have heard enough of your verbal diarrhoea," was just bizarre and unfair.
It seems like the Saurashtra boy has only come to hear some negative comments that Manjrekar may have made about him. It's believed that cricketers don't spend too much time listening to TV discussions or reading what's written about them in newspapers. But due to social media, comments and remarks do reach the ears of cricketers.
For some reason, people on Twitter have developed a great dislike for Manjrekar. This is strange as he is one of the finest commentators in the world who presents meaningful and insightful analysis of the game. Perhaps it's an inaccurate perception of Manjrekar in the minds of Jadeja created by the twitterati that is responsible for the dislike he has developed of the commentator.
Regardless, Jadeja would do well to have a thick skin and not get offended by every uncomplimentary remark. He should also reconsider his opinion of Manjrekar.