Ravindra Jadeja put up a strong performance on his comeback as he picked a five-wicket haul on Day of the first Test against Australia in Nagpur.
Jadeja did bulk of the bowling on the Jamtha dustbowl, earning his 11th fifer (5/47) in 22 overs that helped India skittle Australia out for a paltry 177 after the visitors decided to take the first strike in the series-opener.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who probably dominated the Aussie mind space more than his spin colleague, got 3/42 in 15.5 overs and in the process completed 450 wickets in Test cricket.
At stumps, Rohit Sharma’s counter-attacking 56 not out put India in complete command with hosts ending the day at 77 for one and trailing by 100 runs.
However, A clip of Ravindra Jadeja applying something to his finger during the first day’s play between Australia and India has caught the eye of Michael Vaughan and Tim Paine, with the former describing it as something he had “never ever seen” before.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 9, 2023
Jadeja can be seen touching the back of one of his teammate Mohammed Siraj’s hands, seemingly taking some sort of substance from him, before rubbing it into the index finger of his left hand.
Paine described the clip as “interesting”, while Vaughan asked, “What is it he is putting on his spinning finger?”
There has been no suggestion of foul play from either side, with Jadeja clearly rubbing the substance into his finger and not the ball, and doing so close to the on-field umpire.
Under the Laws of Cricket, the match officials make frequent inspections of the ball and found nothing untoward. The matter was not raised in the post-day press conference, attended by Jadeja.
FYI @FoxCricket – The Indians have refuted your claims, saying Jadeja was applying pain-relieving ointment (which you can see, & spinners do have sore fingers). Come out with something new now – pitch, DRS and now this, in on the 1st day of the series @imjadeja #INDvAUS #BREAKING https://t.co/CZOy4HBPga
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) February 9, 2023
Despite Australia’s struggles, there was not an unusual level of turn on offer, with a graphic showing that the surface had offered the least assistance to spinners among India’s last eight home Tests.
Jadeja was called on to bowl early in the contest, coming on first-change for the seventh over of Australia’s innings. Bowling with a new ball, especially after a lay-off such as Jadeja has had, can be problematic for a finger-spin bowler, with the more pronounced seam liable to cause irritation.
Watch the clip below (an expletive can be heard at the end of the video):
— Tim Paine (@tdpaine36) February 9, 2023