Smith run out was my best, says Jadeja

Scott Bailey
·2-min read

Ravindra Jadeja reckons his run out to remove Steve Smith was the best of his career as he again proved why he could be India's most important man this summer.

Jadeja took four wickets in Australia's first innings at the SCG and also pulled off one of the plays of the Test when he ended Smith's century with a direct hit.

The 32-year-old charged in from the boundary as the Australian turned for a second midway through day two, before hitting the one stump he had to aim at with Smith still short.

Smith was the last man to fall with Australia on 338, and the play could have saved India any amount of runs given the master batsman had hit 27 from his last 14 balls.

"For me, (if I could) rewind and play (one play) it would be run out only," Jadeja said after day two, where India finished at 2-92.

"From outside the 30-metre circle and a direct-hit. Among my favourites, this would be my best."

Jadeja, who began as a reserve in India's squad, could end up being arguably their most crucial player in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Prior to this summer, just 15 of his first 49 Tests had come outside Asia, and while he was injured for the opening match in Adelaide it's unlikely he would have played.

He came in for the Boxing Day Test and scored 57 as India took control on the second day to go with his three wickets with the ball.

His 4-62 has now turned the match in Sydney, kickstarting Australia's collapse before his run out of Smith highlighted how he is a triple threat with the bat, ball and in the field.

It has left the left-arm spinner with one of the most impressive all-round records in world cricket.

Averaging 35.66 with the bat and 24.32 with the ball, his positive margin of 11.34 between the two figures is the highest of any current legitimate allrounder to have played at least 10 Tests.

And that's before you factor in his output in the field.

"Whatever format my role - batting, bowling department I have to perform... that is how I think," Jadeja said.

"From the days I started playing cricket, my role is this only (as an all-rounder).

"But whenever I have got opportunity to score runs or take wickets, I have done that.

"Especially if I get runs away from India then it comes to limelight. Whatever opportunity I get in future, I will try to convert it into performance."