Manjrekar can't think beyond Bombay: Srikkanth

Krishnamachari Srikkanth
Former Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth. File photo: AFP

Former Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth has criticised cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar for questioning K L Rahul's selection in India's Test squad for the upcoming Australia tour.

Rahul, who has been in scintillating form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), has been recalled for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy scheduled to be played in December-January.

According to Manjrekar, a bad precedent is set when a player is recalled for Test on the basis of his IPL performance and it "massively demotivates" those playing the Ranji Trophy.

"It's Sanjay Manjrekar's job to question stuff, so leave him alone," Srikkanth said a video posted on his YouTube channel 'Cheeky Cheeka'.

"Questioning K L Rahul's selection in Tests? He has played well in Tests. I won't agree at all. Just because Sanjay wants to question something, I don't think I'll agree. You shouldn't question something just to create a controversy. K L Rahul has done brilliantly in all formats. Go through his Test record."

Rahul has so far played 36 Tests for India in which he has scored 2,006 runs, including five hundreds and 11 half-centuries.

"What Sanjay Manjrekar is talking is all rubbish. I'll not agree," he said. "Rahul might have been inconsistent but the same K L Rahul made his debut in Australia and made a century. He's a good player of fast bowling. Let's understand, he's a very good player of fast bowling," Srikkanth said.

Rahul was dropped from India's Test squad after a forgettable series in the West Indies last year, where he aggregated 101 runs from four innings. He was not even included even in the India 'A' side for the tour of New Zealand earlier this year.

In the last five Test series, Rahul has scored 101 runs against the West Indies (2019), 57 runs in three matches against Australia (2018-19), 37 runs in two Tests against the West Indies (2018-19), 299 runs in five Tests in England (2018) and 54 runs in the lone Test against Afghanistan (2018).

Srikkanth further advised Manjrekar to think of cricketers who are coming from other parts of the country and not just focus on players from Mumbai.

"Sanjay Manjrekar cannot think beyond Bombay. That's the problem. We are talking neutral. Manjrekar cannot think beyond Bombay. For people like Manjrekar, everything is Bombay, Bombay and Bombay. They have to think beyond Bombay," said the 60-year-old.

Virat Kohli-led Team India will begin the defence of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with the pink-ball Test in Adelaide from December 17, followed by Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26), the Sydney Cricket Ground (January 7) and the Gabba (January 15).

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