Australian batsman Steve Smith couldn’t resist sledging Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja after he celebrated a half-century with a trademark sword flourish.
The hosts were desperate to unearth an early wicket on Monday morning at the MCG, and the breakthrough came with an unnecessary run out.
Facing Australian tweaker Nathan Lyon, Jadeja pushed the ball into the covers and called skipper Ajinkya Rahane through for a quick single.
But Marnus Labuschagne swooped in from cover, picking up the ball with one hand and flinging it towards Tim Paine with the gloves.
The Australian wicketkeeper quickly whipped off the bails, and replays showed Rahane was less than an inch short of making his ground.
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Rahane made his way off the MCG with 122 runs next to his name, and the Melbourne spectators congratulated the Indian captain with rapturous applause.
But several pundits blamed Jadeja for the unexpected dismissal, accusing the 32-year-old of rushing to score his half-century.
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The next over, Jadeja flicked a delivery from Pat Cummins down towards fine leg to bring up his 15th half-century in Test cricket.
He celebrated the milestone in style with a trademark swing of the bat, flipping the willow around his body like a swordsman.
But Smith ensured Jadeja didn’t forget what had transpired the previous over, arraign his opponent for stabbing his skipper in the back.
“Get the knife out this time, not the sword,” Smith chirped.
Lyon also chimed in: “Have you ever hit yourself in the head?”
Jadeja was eventually dismissed by Mitchell Starc for 57, caught at the mid-wicket boundary after attacking a short delivery.
Australia had been targeting Jadeja with a bouncer barrage, and the Indian all-rounder took the bait.
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