India legends Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, and Harbhajan Singh tore into Ravindra Jadeja for his “big mistake” on Day 1 of the third Test against Australia on Wednesday.
His massive blunder came in the fourth over of the Australian innings when he dismissed Marnus Labuschagne, getting the top-ranked opposition batter bowled. However, Marnus Labuschagne didn’t head back to the pavilion because the umpires revealed it was a no-ball, giving the Australian a huge reprieve.
It was a crucial moment in the match as Australia had just lost Travis Head, and losing Marnus Labuschagne at that stage would have really pushed them into a corner.
The great Sunil Gavaskar used strong words in reaction to Ravindra Jadeja’s error and slammed the India all-rounder for allowing the Australians to dominate proceedings out there in the middle.
“That’s unacceptable… He has a couple of man-of-the-match awards but for a spinner to bowl no-balls like this… This could cost India. Paras Mhambrey (bowling coach) has to sit with him and make him bowl from behind (the line). He has got off the mark now Marnus, he would have been out for a duck,” Sunil Gavaskar said while blasting Ravindra Jadeja on live TV.
“When you come for an interview in the evening, you say you like to do what is in your control. Not bowling no-balls is in your control, so why is that happening? Who takes the responsibility for that – only the bowler, the bowling coach – whoever it is, it has happened many times in three Test matches,” the ex-India skipper elaborated.
Even former India coach Ravi Shastri and Harbhajan Singh was disappointed with Ravindra Jadeja’s effort and echoed similar views to Sunil Gavaskar.
“These little errors could prove costly on a track like this,” Ravi Shastri stated.
“You probably don’t have eight no-balls in a career. This is not expected from a bowler like Ravindra Jadeja and it becomes a bigger cause for concern if you get a wicket on that. As Sunny bhai said, Labuschagne would have been dismissed for a duck and because of that a commotion would have been created in that dressing room, that you are 10/2, which means if you had picked up two more wickets at that stage, it would have been 25/4,” Harbhajan Singh asserted.
It wasn’t the first time Ravindra Jadeja got a wicket on a no-ball, but the batsman stayed there on the crease.
In Australia’s second essay in Nagpur, Ravindra Jadeja overstepped, helping Steve Smith to continue his knock there. Fortunately, it didn’t cost India much, as the Rohit Sharma-led side comfortably won the match.
Overall Ravindra Jadeja has bowled eight no-balls in the ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy. While he overstepped on five occasions at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, he produced only one no-ball in the next Test in Delhi.
But his problem with no-balls returned to haunt him in Madhya Pradesh as he delivered a few more on Day 1 of the third Test in Indore.
Ravindra Jadeja scripted history, becoming only the second Indian after Kapil Dev to complete the rare double of 500 wickets and 5,000 runs in international cricket on Wednesday.
The left-handed superstar’s feat came on Day 1 of the third Test against Australia in Indore after he sent the visiting side’s opener Travis Head back to the pavilion to pick his 500th wicket for Team India across formats.
In the process, Ravindra Jadeja also joined an exclusive list of players who have achieved the unique double. Apart from the Saurashtra-born cricketer and Kapil Dev, Pakistan’s Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Shahid Afridi, South Africans Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori, Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh, Sri Lankan Chaminda Vaas, and English great Ian Botham are part of this exclusive group. Overall, Jadeja is the 11th player to accomplish the landmark.
Speaking about the match, the hosts won the toss and elected to bat. But it was the only thing that went in their favor on the opening day of the third Test played at the Holkar Stadium. India’s batting line-up, full of superstars, fell like nine-pins against the Australian spinners.
No doubt the pitch aided spinners from ball one, but the way the Indians decided against not using their feet against the slow bowlers made them sitting ducks. With the ball turning square, especially in the first session of play, the Indian batters looked into all sorts of problems against the Australian spin trio of Matthew Kuhnemann, Todd Murphy, and Nathan Lyon.
Matthew Kuhnemann, appearing in his second Test after making his debut in the previous game in Delhi, was the wrecker-in-chief as he bagged his maiden five-wicket haul, finishing with extraordinary figures of 5/16, including the big wickets of Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer.
This time, even the lower order failed to rescue Team India, with the side bowled out for 109.
In reply to India’s total of 109, the Australian cricket team was in a strong position after ending the day at 156/4, with Peter Handscomb and Cameron Green at the crease.
The Kangaroos could have batted India out of the match if Ravindra Jadeja had not bagged four wickets. After a 96-run partnership between Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khwaja nearly put India out of the contest, the southpaw gave the hosts some hope as he scalped Marnus Labuschagne, Usman Khwaja and Steve Smith in quick succession.
Former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel praised Ravindra Jadeja for his bowling in Indore, saying the left-arm spinner bowled almost the perfect length to get the best out from the pitch.
“Ravindra Jadeja bowled the right lengths. If you looks at Australia’s pitch map, they bowled between the 6 meter and 8 meter mark. There is help from the pitch but you will have to give the ball some time as well. If you bowl a fuller length then there is lesser chance of getting enough spin. To make the ball spin, you will have to keep the length shorter,” Parthiv Patel told Cricbuzz.
“The wickets of Labuschagne and Smith show that Jadeja was bowling the right lengths. He will have to persist with that length, this will become very important while bowling on a pitch like this,” Parthiv Patel signed off.