Ravindra Jadeja Ball Tampering Controversy

Toby Marshall
19 February 2023
Ravindra Jadeja

The star of the first match, Ravindra Jadeja, has been called out by the Australian media and other cricket outlets with allegations of ball tampering. India hosted the Kangaroos in the first test at VCA Stadium Nagpur. The match began with Aussies losing a couple of easy wickets until then Jadeja came into play.

Jadeja went on to pick a fifer in the first innings and a couple of wickets in the 2nd innings. Jadeja also played a brilliant knock of 70 runs that helped his side build a mountain of target for the Aussies to climb up to. Jadeja’s performance was loved and adored by the home fans and instantly got the love throughout the country for his contribution in the win.

But the drama started on one of the overs of day one as Jadeja was spotted applying an ointment on his index finger as Mohammed Siraj handed him over the cream. This video erupted over the internet as Tim Paine called it “Interesting” and Michael Vaughan also questioned this action of the Indian Spin veteran.

The broadcast camera during one of the over breaks on the first day moved to Ravindra Jadeja. The footage then showed Mohammed Siraj slowly moving towards Jadeja and he had a cream on his finger. The spinner took off the cream and started rubbing on his index finger. The spinner then had a small talk with the captain while rubbing on his finger and moved away for the over.

The bowler was able to pick some crucial wickets of Marnus Labuschgne and Steve Smith moving on. One of the twitter handles shared the camera footage and mentioned Tim Paine. The tweet mentioned that one of the bowlers is handing off a grippo to the other bowler and the other bowler is rubbing his on his spin finger. The tweet then asked Tim Paine about his opinion on the matter to which he replied, “Interesting”.

Michael Vaughan read one of the stories of Fox Sports on twitter and retweeted saying, “What is it he is putting on his spin finger? Never seen this before”. Vaughan intended that Ravindra Jadeja is using something against the rules in order to do ball tampering.

Indian Legend and former national side coach, Ravi Shastari, didn’t sit back on the matter and mentioned that if it was anything other than a pain reliever, the Australian team and match referees would have pointed it out and the use of the ointment must have been known by the match referees.

He further added that the wicket was good enough for the spinners that I didn’t need any additional help to get the ball moving; which was exactly the situation as the Australian batting line up crumbled against not only Jadeja but also Ashwin in the 2nd innings.

The questioning of Tim Paine got everyone talking and people started pointing fingers at Jadeja for allegedly ball tampering. However, the Indian Board has told the match referees that Jadeja was just applying ointment for callus finger.

It is often the case that spinners who bowl long spells in a test game get their fingers tired and sore. Then applying an ointment as a pain reliever is allowed by the ICC for bowlers. The Indian sources suggest that the ointment that Jadeja used was only applied on to his finger for this purpose. There was no contact of the ointment directly onto the ball.

The Australians and Australian media have made a big fuss out of something that is a common practice for spin bowlers and is completely by the rules. Some suggest that Australians find it a way to scapegoat their horrible defeat in the first test of the Border-Gavaskar series.

Author Toby Marshall