New Delhi: Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has hit out at the India's Team Director Ravi Shastri and Test captain Virat Kohli questioning their philosophy of aggression after Ishant Sharma incident resulted in a one-Test ban for the lanky Delhi fast bowler.
"I am a bit concerned with the Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri partnership. That the Indians are not trying to tone their behaviour down after Australia, and have got into ugly confrontations with even a team like Sri Lanka, tells me that they don't see these actions as misdemeanours at all," Manjrekar wrote in his column for ESPN Cricinfo.
There was a bit of sarcasm in his article about what he believed was a misplaced sense of aggression.
"Perhaps this is all part of their new brand of aggressive cricket. If that's the case, it does not make any cricketing sense at all. For this version of aggressive cricket has cost India the services of their strike bowler, a player who is in great form, in a crucial Test match," Manjrekar further wrote referring to a one-Test ban on Ishant, who will miss the opening game against South Africa at Mohali.
The 50-year-old Manjrekar, who has played 37 Tests and 74 ODIs for India between 1987 and 1996 asked as to why aggression did not win them games in Australia if that is a requisite element for winning matches.
"But India may say, "We won the series, and this is what you need to be a winning team - a bit of aggression." A simple retort would be: "Why didn't aggression win you games in Australia?"
Manjrekar seemed equally disturbed about these trend of send-offs by fast bowler.
"What I can't fathom about these send-offs is: when a wicket falls, it means the batsman has failed and the bowler has succeeded, but it's the bowler who is angry for some reason. Why should anger follow success? When the anger of the victor is aimed at the vanquished, it's a brawl waiting to happen."
The Mumbaikar also referred to one incident involving Ishant that did not catch the attention of TV cameras.
"There was one instance right towards the end of the last Test that the TV cameras did not show. Prasad came out to bat in the second innings with India within arm's reach of a win. Ishant was on high, having got India back into the game with a superb spell with the second new ball, in which he picked up the big wicket of Angelo Mathews. Believe it or not, Ishant was still keen to have a go at Prasad, but Virat Kohli stopped him.
"That moment told me that, one, Ishant was not willing to learn a lesson on his own, and two, that perhaps - and this is speculation - he was not talked to sternly enough by the team management for him to have dared repeat the offence," he wrote.