Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Comeback man Ravindra Jadeja (66 no, 170b, 9x4) followed up his brilliant five-wicket haul with a fighting half-century to put India in a formidable position against Australia at stumps on day two of the first Test at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on Friday.

In reply to Australia’s first innings total of 177, India are sitting pretty with 321 for the loss of seven wickets. Axar Patel (52 no, 102b, 8x4) is giving Jadeja an able company at stumps. India have taken a healthy first innings lead of 144 runs with three wickets in hand. The pitch deteriorating with each passing day, a lead around 200 will be good enough to force the Australians to an innings defeat.

Jadeja breaks Kapil Dev’s record

Utility all-rounder Jadeja now has the most number of fifties along with a fifer in a single match in the longest format of the game (5). In the process, Jadeja has broken former Indian legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev’s record. Former captain Kapil Dev achieved the same feat for a total of four times in his career.

Controversy and clarification

A controversial footage of Jadeja was doing the rounds on various social media platforms on Thursday. In the footage, Jadeja seemed to take something from Mohammed Siraj in his right hand ahead of one of his overs. The broadcast cameras then displayed Jadeja appearing to rub something on his bowling finger.

However, the Indian team management has informed ICC match referee Andy Pycroft that star spinner Jadeja was using ‘pain-relieving cream’ on the finger of his bowling hand.

Michael Clarke’s reaction

Responding to the footage, former Australian captain Michael Clarke said that Jadeja should have given the ball to the umpire and stand in front of the umpire while he was putting the cream on his finger.

“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 about that. It’s just the perception. I don’t think there’s anything to it. I could be 100 per cent wrong,” said Clarke.