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India v Australia 2022/23

Watch: ‘Never ever seen this’ – Vaughan, Paine comment after Ravindra Jadeja rubs substance into spinning finger

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

A clip of Ravindra Jadeja applying something to his finger during the first day’s play between Australia and India has caught the eye of Michael Vaughan and Tim Paine, with the former describing it as something he had “never ever seen” before.

Jadeja, who claimed five wickets to help bundle Australia out for 177, can be seen touching the back of one of his teammate’s hands, seemingly taking some sort of substance from him, before rubbing it into the index finger of his left hand.

Paine described the clip as “interesting”, while Vaughan asked, “What is it he is putting on his spinning finger?”


There has been no suggestion of foul play from either side, with Jadeja clearly rubbing the substance into his finger and not the ball, and doing so close to the on-field umpire. Under the Laws of Cricket, the match officials make frequent inspections of the ball and found nothing untoward. The matter was not raised in the post-day press conference, attended by Jadeja.

Despite Australia’s struggles, there was not an unusual level of turn on offer, with a graphic showing that the surface had offered the least assistance to spinners among India’s last eight home Tests.

Jadeja was called on to bowl early in the contest, coming on first-change for the seventh over of Australia’s innings. Bowling with a new ball, especially after a lay-off such as Jadeja has had, can be problematic for a finger-spin bowler, with the more pronounced seam liable to cause irritation. Moeen Ali’s 2017/18 tour of Australia was impacted by a gashed finger following an early introduction, as an example, and it is possible Jadeja’s was a topical treatment for a similar ailment.

Watch the clip below (an expletive can be heard at the end of the video):

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