Ravi Jadeja's dig at Australia as 'appalling' tactics come under fire

The Indian spinner's post-match comments came after Australia's game plan backfired spectacularly in the second Test.

Ravi Jadeja, pictured here after India's win over Australia in the second Test.
Ravi Jadeja exposed Australia's tactics to sweep him during the second Test. Image: Fox Sports/Getty

Ravi Jadeja couldn't help but laugh about Australia's tactics following India's crushing win in the second Test in Delhi. The Aussies were right in the game when the third day's play began on Sunday, with Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne at the crease and the tourists starting well to be 1-65.

But what followed was 60 minutes of absolute brainless chaos, as Australia's attempts to sweep nearly every ball from India's masterful spinners backfired spectacularly. Six of Australia's 10 dismissals came via the sweep shot as they lost 9-48 to be all out for 113.

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Jadeja was the chief destroyer, taking 7-42 as his relentless accuracy proved too much for Australia to handle. The pitch was once again dry and cracking and offered plenty of spin, but Australia's downfall was their own doing.

Steve Smith and Matt Renshaw were out lbw after missing attempted sweep shots, while Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Matthew Kuhnemann had their stumps destroyed while playing the same shot. Carey and Kuhnemann attempted reverse sweeps, but missed the ball and were clean-bowled.

When asked after the match about Australia's tactic to sweep, Jadeja's response was telling. The Indian star was asked if the sweep shot was a good choice, responding with a laugh: "Not on this pitch."

Jadeja also revealed that his game plan was simply to bowl at the stumps and hope Australia missed. "My plan was to try and keep bowling into the stumps, and if they make mistakes, I have a chance to get them out," he said.

Australia came to India full of hope that they could win their first series in the country since 2004. However their hopes have been dashed in less than six days of cricket.

India holds an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-Test series, meaning they have already retained the Border Gavaskar trophy. Speaking during commentary, Matthew Hayden said Australia had gone way over the top with their aggressive approach.

Hayden famously found success in India while employing the sweep shot, but derided the fact that Australia's batters seemed to make up their mind to sweep every ball. “What we’ve seen here is a disaster for Australia. It’s a disaster because they’ve gone way over the edge in terms of their aggressive play," he said.

Ravi Jadeja, pictured here celebrating the dismissal of Alex Carey in the second Test between Australia and India.
Ravi Jadeja celebrates the dismissal of Alex Carey in the second Test between Australia and India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) (Robert Cianflone via Getty Images)

“What professional in life just hopes? No way. You’ve got to have a method and you have to think on your feet. You’ve got about 13 people in that dug out not playing the game all having their say on it.”

Aussie great Mike Hussey said it's time to put the sweep shot away. “It’s a low percentage shot, particularly early in your innings when you’re not used to the pace," he said.

“It obviously didn’t work … I think the Australians, they need to have some accountability for that performance and some of their shots. They need to come out and own it, and go: ‘You know what? We stuffed up here. That was pretty ordinary batting’. And own it. It’s okay to make mistakes but they’ve got to try and learn from it.”

Former Australia captain Allan Border said the reverse sweep in particular should not be used in Test cricket. “We play in Australia, we’re playing a lot of one-day cricket, a lot of 20-20 cricket. You just don’t get exposed," he said.

“Your reverse sweeps work in a normal Twenty-20 game because it’s such a good batting surface. When you bat around the country, there’s not many wickets that turn at all.”

Pat Cummins' admission after sweep shot backfires

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Aussie captain Pat Cummins admitted his side were too aggressive. Cummins came under particular fire for his dismissal after playing a wild slog across the line of a Jadeja ball to be clean-bowled first ball.

"I'm probably as much to blame as anyone else there," he said. "Two big things we talk about is the tempo of the game and the method.

"Maybe at times a little bit too high tempo. I'd rather be high tempo than low tempo though, if those wickets are being difficult, but maybe the method went a little bit away from what we planned to do at times.

“Everyone is in control of their own game. Some of it’s planning – you’ll get some balls with your name on it anyway, it wasn’t easy. But I think that there’ll be a review of shot choice. Did we got about it the right way? We’ll work that out over the next few days.”

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