Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar recently came out with his autobiography titled ‘Imperfect’, which revealed a lot of insider stories and scoops on Mumbai cricket, Indian cricket and his time spent inside the commentary box over the years. Manjrekar is still regarded as one of the most technically sound batsmen to have played the game for India and has now established himself as a noted commentator and writer post his retirement from the game.
Speaking to The Quint in an exclusive interview ahead of his book release, the 52-year-old provided certain interesting insights into his career and his time spent in different dressing rooms during his time as a player.
Commenting on India’s tour to England in the year 1996, where he was a senior member of the side, Manjrekar said that he was lucky enough to witness the rise and advent of two of India’s best ever batsmen first hand – Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly. Manjrekar, who was himself noted and admired for his ability to play well on pitches that aided seam movement, also conceded that he knew that his time was up when Dravid and Ganguly burst onto the scene in the Lord’s Test on that tour.
While Ganguly went on to get a hundred in his debut Test, Dravid also played a solid hand and was unlucky to be dismissed for 96 in his maiden Test innings. Manjrekar revealed that while Dravid’s success was expected, Ganguly’s debut hundred took everyone in the Indian dressing room by surprise.
He (Sourav) was not in the team on the back of big scores but was picked because he had talent. Just the way he batted in those conditions, we all thought he will have a good series and his success eventually in the Test series didn’t take us by surprise,” Manjrekar said.
“Dravid looked like he was destined to play for India, but the way they batted in the series, I knew my time was up,” he later concluded.