Ravindra Jadeja emerged as India’s man with the golden arm, on Friday, claiming four Australia wickets and then producing a moment of sheer brilliance to prove why he is considered one of the best fielders in contemporary cricket.
The all-rounder was the pick of the Indian bowlers, claiming 4-62 with his crafty left-arm spin to help restrict Australia to 338 in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The highlight of Jadeja’s performance, however, was his rocket throw which ended Steve Smith’s stellar knock of 131.
The gun fielder sprinted from deep square leg chasing an inside edge, ran past the ball to pick it up with his throwing arm, and broke the stumps with a diving Smith short of his ground.
“Seemingly impossible that only Jadeja the fielder could have made possible,” former Test batsman Sanjay Manjrekar tweeted.
“Not just the accuracy of the throw but the sheer speed of the throw was the key to that run out. Absolutely brilliant!”
The video of ‘Sir Jadeja’, as the all-rounder is fondly known on social media, went viral and the 32-year-old, known for his athleticism, rated it as probably the best run-out he had effected in his career.
“I will rewind-and-play this run-out in my mind,” Jadeja said after outshining India’s specialist spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who went wicketless on the second day at the SCG.
“This is one of my best, a direct hit from outside the 30-yard circle … this run-out is the kind of moment that stays in your mind.”
On a slow track, the canny spinner varied his length and bowled at a speed which troubled the batsmen.
Jadeja dismissed Marnus Labuschagne, whose 91 was second only to Smith’s century, and Matthew Wade with quicker deliveries and sent back tailenders Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon with yorker-length balls.
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