Australia’s Steve Smith surely did ‘shut’ some of his critics with a mesmerizing Test ton on Day 2 of the third Border-Gavaskar Test on Friday. But it was rockstar Ravindra Jadeja who grabbed the headlines at the end of Day 2, with a scorching direct hit to run Smith out on 138. Smith’s hundred gave anchored Australia to a competitive total, but India replied strongly in the end.
Smith found his form after missing out on scoring in the first two Tests. He admitted that ‘a bit faster on my feet’ and a confident approach helped him overcome his run-drought as he brought up his hundred from 201 deliveries. But a sensational throw from the electrifying Jadeja saw Smith’s innings come to an end on 138. With that, the visitors managed to wrap Aussies up on 338.
Having pushed the ball to the leg side, Smith was aiming to pick up two runs with Josh Hazelwood at the opposite end. While the first run was finished comfortably, the second run was never there. As Jadeja picked up the ball rushing in from deep square leg, his throw caught Smith the well short of his ground.Having pulled off the stunning direct hit, Jadeja commented, “For me, rewind and play would be (the) run out only. It would be one of my best. From outside the 30-yard-circle… direct-hit. Among my favourites, this would be my best. As far as wickets are concerned, three wickets, four wickets, that is also good… away from India, but the run-out was the moment I liked the most.”
India managed to keep Australia well below the par score at the Sydney Cricket Ground and concluded the day’s play at 96/2. Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma gave the visitors a perfect start as the opening duo brought India’s first 50-run stand after 14 innings. Rohit departed on 27 and Gill went back after scoring his maiden Test fifty.