Smith v Jadeja: an intriguing battle looms

One of the enduring images of Australia’s last tour of India was Steven Smith facing up to Ravindra Jadeja. In another world, it might have been Jadeja facing up to Smith.

People have been building up the similarities between Smith and Virat Kohli, but it’s Jadeja that Smith shares a stronger connection with. Smith was once upon a time supposed to be the next Shane Warne when he made his Test debut as a legspinner against Pakistan and batted at No. 8. Jadeja had scored three triple-centuries in first-class cricket. India had tried to make him bat high in limited-overs cricket. Both Smith and Jadeja had tried the wrong discipline in international cricket, and had been ridiculed for it. In fact Jadeja’s recent Test debut had come on the back those triple-centuries. There were even memes when he struggled with the bat against England.

In the 2012-13 series between India and Australia,…

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