Friday, February 10, 2023

Ravindra Jadeja accused of ball tampering

Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was accused of ball tampering by Australian media on Thursday during the ongoing first Test in Nagpur.

Video footage of the incident went viral after Jadeja was seen rubbing a substance on his finger, which made the viewers believe that he was involved in ball tampering.

In the video, Jadeja was spotted taking a substance off the back of teammate Mohammed Siraj's palm with his right hand. He then rubbed the substance on to the index finger of his left hand just before getting into his delivery stride. 

Despite having the ball in his hands, Jadeja was not seen rubbing anything on the ball itself.

The match referee Andy Pycroft also sought an explanation from the Indian team management regarding the incident. However, no charge was laid against the spinner. 

The allegations were levelled when Australia had reached 120-5 in their first innings, with Jadeja having already bagged the wickets of Marnus Labuschagne, Matt Renshaw and Steven Smith.

However, Indian team management told AFP that Jadeja applied a pain-relief cream to his index finger and nothing untoward had taken place.

It must be noted that skipper Rohit Sharma was unbeaten on an assured 85 as India turned the screw on Australia despite debutant spinner Todd Murphy claiming his third wicket of the opening Test on Friday.

India took lunch on day two at 151-3, closing on Australia's first-innings 177, on a Nagpur pitch which is expected to turn more as the match progresses.

Rohit was batting alongside Virat Kohli, on 12, at the break after losing overnight partner Ravichandran Ashwin for 23 and then Cheteshwar Pujara for seven.

Murphy, an off-spinner who claimed KL Rahul as his first Test wicket on Thursday, trapped Ashwin lbw — a decision successfully reviewed by Australia — and got Pujara caught at short fine leg.

Rohit started cautiously on his overnight 56 before he smacked fast bowler captain Pat Cummins for six over deep square leg and hit another over the fence from spinner Nathan Lyon.

He mixed the right dose of caution and aggression and despite losing Ashwin and Pujara stood firm to see off the first session, as India trailed by 26 runs.

Jadeja was the first-day hero with his 5-47 against the tourists, who elected to bat first at the start of the four-match series, but was all out shortly after tea.