India spinner Ravindra Jadeja has found himself at the centre of media speculation following an incident on day one of the first Test against Australia in Nagpur.
- Jadeja was seen taking something out of Mohammed Siraj’s hand during Australia’s first innings
- India claims Jadeja was applying ointment to a sore finger
- The incident has caused much debate in mainstream and social media
Broadcast vision captured Jadeja taking something out of teammate Mohammed Siraj’s hand during Australia’s first innings.
After the exchange with Siraj, Jadeja then rubbed his hands and left index finger around the ball with an unidentified substance.
India’s team management spoke with ICC match referee Andy Pycroft after the day’s play, telling the official Jadeja was applying ointment to a sore finger.
Under the ICC’s Test conditions, players are banned from using an artificial substance on the ball.
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Jadeja, India captain Rohit Sharma and the team’s manager were shown a clip of the incident, which took place when Australia was 5-120.
The tourists were eventually dismissed for 177, with Jadeja claiming the bowling figures of 5-47.
Retired Australia limited-overs international and ABC Sport commentator Dirk Nannes said he was not surprised by the speculation surrounding the incident.
“It’s not a great look,” he told ABC Sport.
“As to what you could get out of doing something like that — I guess the challenge is, is he trying to do anything with the ball? If so, that’s of course a massive no-no.
“I think the trouble with the vision is that at the same time, he’s rubbing something on his hand. He’s got the ball in his hand as well.
“So, it doesn’t really appear like he’s rubbing that substance, whatever it is, on the ball.
“But anything that happens like that, you’ve got to do it under the nose of the umpire. You’ve got to do it with medical staff with you and when the medical staff are there, you’re certainly not holding the cricket ball.
“So, best-case scenario it’s a bad look. Worst-case scenario, there’s something more sinister there and they’re mucking around with the ball.”
On Twitter, former Australia captain Tim Paine described the interaction between Jadeja and Siraj as “interesting”, while retired England skipper Michael Vaughan queried what took place.
“What is it he is putting on his spinning finger? Never ever seen this,” Vaughan tweeted.
Retired Australia captain Michael Clarke said he believed the Indian team’s explanation, but argued Jadeja should have told the umpire what he was doing.
“He should have given the ball to the umpire and stood in front of the umpire while he was putting it on his finger,” Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast.
“I don’t look at that and think it’s a thing. I just wish he didn’t have the ball in his hand.
“If he chucks the ball to the umpire and does that, I don’t think there’s any comment made.”