The Indian cricket team has made it clear to International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Andy Pycroft that their star spinner Ravindra Jadeja was using a pain-relieving cream on the finger of his bowling hand in the video recordings that were widely shared on social media on the first day of the Nagpur Test against Australia.
Reports indicate that after visual evidence of Jadeja using the substance was seen on social media, the Indian team management sought to clarify the situation to the match referee.
The incident took place when Jadeja was in the middle of a successful spell, having already dismissed three Australian batsmen, including Steven Smith, Matt Renshaw, and Marnus Labuschagne. At that point, Australia was at 120 for 5.
While the incident generated some buzz on social media, it was not brought to the attention of the match referee by the Australian team. The match referee has the discretion to independently investigate such incidents, and the bowler is required by the Laws of Cricket to obtain the umpire’s approval before applying any material on their hands to ensure that the condition of the ball is not impacted.
Despite the discussion surrounding the incident, Jadeja made an impressive comeback in the match, picking up five wickets against Australia in the first innings. His performance of 5/47 helped India bowl out Australia for a total of 177.
Ravichandran Ashwin also contributed with three wickets, while Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami took one wicket each. In response, the Indian batsmen scored 77/1, putting to rest any speculation that the pitch was a rank-turner.