What does Jadeja want in Manjrekar, another cheerleader?

Jadeja’s tirade against Manjrekar indicates he is thinking too much about peripheral issues, contrary to India captain Virat Kohli, without any provocation.

Sanjay Manjrekar may have gone overboard with his assessment of Ravindra Jadeja, the cricketer, but there was no need for the all-rounder to get personal.   -  getty images

“Kitna cricket khelein hain aap? (How much cricket have you played?)”

Back in 2005-06, this was the question posed to me by a then regular in international cricket during a rare appearance on the domestic circuit in his heyday. I had criticised the batsman’s shot selection in a Ranji Trophy match report and in a visible attempt to intimidate a young scribe, the cricketer had turned to the most common — and ridiculous, dare I say — tirade by a sportsman, especially a cricketer, in India at a journalist.

Cut to Wednesday, and Ravindra Jadeja during his go on Twitter against Sanjay Manjrekar resorted to the same old tactic by questioning Manjrekar’s credentials on the cricket field while hitting out against the cricketer-turned-commentator.

WATCH| Super-sub Ravindra Jadeja, a special 12th man

Jadeja may have every reason to feel offended with Manjrekar assessing the seasoned all-rounder as a “bits and pieces cricketer”. But it was absolutely unnecessary for the India cricketer to drag Manjrekar’s achievements — or the lack of it, according to Jadeja — while trying to make his point.

Mind you, Jadeja is not alone. Only recently did we see Jonny Bairstow elaborating on the use of a newspaper the next morning. One isn’t sure if Bairstow has watched Krantiveer, the 1990s Bollywood flick in which Nana Patekar’s louder-than-usual character uses the same toilet-paper analogy, albeit in a crass lingo.

These two instances underline the fact that modern-day cricketers seem to have lost the ability to digest criticism. No human being likes to be criticised, that too in public. But a successful sportsperson — through numerous failures right through struggles — is supposed to have learnt the art of not letting criticism, even constructive, affect him or her.

Jadeja’s tirade against Manjrekar indicates he is thinking too much about peripheral issues, contrary to India captain Virat Kohli, without any provocation, repeatedly stressing how his team “is not bothered about external perception”.

Manjrekar may have gone overboard with his assessment of Jadeja, the cricketer, but there was no need for the all-rounder to get personal. It’s time modern-day cricketers, especially Indian cricketers-turned-celebrities, start respecting other professions instead of expecting everyone around them to be a cheerleader.

But in this day and age, celebrities across spheres prefer to live in a bubble. Turning the clock back, when that cricketer had questioned the credentials, yours truly had responded with, “Kitne saal journalism kiya hai aapne? (How long have you been a journalist?)" Since then, the two of us are on good terms and keep in touch with each other, even after the player's retirement.

With the vicious tone that Jadeja’s response to Manjrekar had, one wonders if the duo will ever be able to share a drink, at least in the near future. Even if they cannot make it up, perhaps the younger generation of Indian cricket should ponder over whether it’s worth emulating their idols blindly.