India beat South Africa in Cricket World Cup 2023© AFP

New Delhi :

Former Indian cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra feels that all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja should have been given the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his exceptional performance against South Africa in the ongoing Cricket World Cup 2023. Jadeja with his slow left-arm orthodox ripped apart the South African batting set-up at the iconic Eden Gardens, in Kolkata. His incoming angled deliveries sometimes stayed straight or spun away from the batters making it hard for the opposition to understand and adjust to the surface. He ended with a five-wicket haul conceding just 33 runs in his 9-over spell. The left-handed all-rounder was also handy with the bat, scoring 29 runs in 15 balls in the end to power India to a score of 326-5. Even though Jadeja stood out with both the bat as well as the ball, Virat Kohli was awarded the MOM following his record-breaking ton against the Proteas.

Hosting JioCinema’s daily sports show ‘#AAKASHVANI,’ Chopra spoke of the impact that Jadeja had on the game and said, “Ravindra Jadeja was all over South Africa. In my opinion, he should have been the player of the match. That’s because it’s simply very difficult to take five wickets in an innings. How difficult? I’ll give you an example. He became only the second Indian spinner to take a five-wicket haul at an ODI World Cup. More so, he got rid of the top-order batsmen and not the tail. He also scored crucial runs.”

Coming to the match, India opted to bat first and scored 326/5 in their 50 overs. Rohit Sharma (40 in 23 balls, with six fours and two sixes) and Shubman Gill (23 in 24 balls with four fours and a six) provided India with a brisk start. After their dismissal, Virat carried on the innings with Shreyas Iyer, who scored 77 in 87 balls with seven fours and two sixes.

Quickfire cameos from Suryakumar Yadav (22 in 14 balls, with five fours) and Ravindra Jadeja (29* in 15 balls with three fours and a six) helped India reach the 300-run mark. Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi all took a wicket each.

While chasing 327, the Proteas never looked like a threat. Ravindra Jadeja (5/33), Kuldeep Yadav (2/7) and Mohammed Shami (2/18) put on a bowling masterclass to bundle out SA for just 83 in 27.1 overs. With only Marco Jansen (14), Rassie van der Dussen (13), David Miller and skipper Temba Bavuma (11 each) crossing the 10-run mark.

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