Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar is surprised over the debates surrounding India’s decision to bring in Yuvzendra Chahal as a concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja during the first T20I at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Gavaskar pointed out that the match referee for the game was an Australian, and he was the one who approved India's decision to exercise the concussion substitute option.
Speaking to India Today, Gavaskar said, “The match referee is an Australian, he is a former Australian cricketer David Boon. He was okay with Chahal substituting Jadeja."
“They normally say like for like, you can argue that Chahal’s not an all-rounder but anyone who goes out with the bat whether he scores 1 run of 100 runs is an all-rounder as far as I’m concerned. And he bowls so it’s a like for like replacement. And the Australian match referee had no objection so I don’t see why there is so much of noise about it,” he further added.
During his brilliant innings of 44 not out from 23, Jadeja was struck on the helmet in the final over by a delivery from Pat Cummins. The all-rounder batted on till the end of the over, although he had started limping as well.
When India came out to bowl, they brought in leg-spinner Chahal as a replacement for left-arm spinner Jadeja making use of ICC’s concussion substitute rule.
Australia’s coach Justin Langer was clearly unhappy with India’s decision to use Chahal as a concussion substitute and was seen having an animated discussion with match referee David Boon on learning of the same.
In an ironic turn of events, concussion substitute Chahal, who was surprisingly left out of the initial playing XI for the first T20I, claimed 3 for 25 and ended up as the man of the match. India clinched the first T20I by 11 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Sunil Gavaskar not a fan of the concussion substitute rule
“On the business of concussion substitute itself I don’t agree because maybe I’m old-fashioned, I’ve always believed that if you’re not good enough to play the bouncer and you get hit on the helmet then you don’t deserve substitutes," Sunil Gavaskar said.
“But at the moment it is being allowed and according to the rules of the game, everything was done according to it and there was no problem with Chahal playing instead of Ravindra Jadeja,” Gavaskar explained
India and Australia will meet again on Sunday for the second T20I at Sydney. The visitors will be without the services of all-rounder Jadeja, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the T20I series owing to the concussion he sustained after he was hit in the head while batting in the first T20I.
Medium-pacer Shardul Thakur has replaced Jadeja in the T20I squad.