India’s decision to bring in leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal as a concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja in the first T20I against Australia has evoked mixed reactions from various quarters of the cricketing circle.
While Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar found nothing wrong with India’s move, another ex-India cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar, was more skeptical over what transpired in the Indian camp after Jadeja’s injury and the move to bring in Chahal as the concussion substitute.
Speaking after the first T20I, Manjrekar opined that the Chahal-Jadeja incident might prompt the ICC to have a re-look at the ‘concussion substitute’ rule, and make some changes as well.
“Really happy that he (Chahal) got that opportunity and I think Virat also was very honest to accept that as fate turned out, they had a better bowled than somebody who might have not been able to bowl his four overs. Chahal was a huge bonus and thank god India went to 160 that it all became possible,” Manjrekar said on ‘Extraaa Innings’ Show on Sony Sports Network.
He, however, added, “But now, after this, there’s going to be a lot of thought given to the concussion substitute, the whole concept purely because we as players – all of us – there are rules made with good intention but we are masters at trying to find a loophole in the rule for our own advantage. Whether India took an advantage, we don’t know, but there’s something the ICC needs to start looking at, so that one team doesn’t get such a massive advantage.”
How Chahal came in as concussion substitute for Jadeja
During his superb knock of 44 not out from 23, Jadeja was struck on the helmet in the final over by a delivery from Pat Cummins. The left-hander, however, batted on till the end of the over. He did not look concussed but started limping towards the end of the innings, which added fuel to fire to the theory that India misused the concussion substitute rule by bringing in Chahal for Jadeja.
Some former cricketers also pointed out the breach of protocol as no physio came out on the field to check on Jadeja after he was hit on the head.
Australia’s coach Justin Langer was visibly upset with India’s decision to use Chahal as a concussion substitute and was seen having an animated discussion with match referee David Boon over the issue.
As things would turn out, concussion substitute Chahal 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.
India and Australia will now meet on Sunday in the second T20I in Sydney. Jadeja has been ruled out of the remaining T20Is owing to the concussion he suffered while batting in the first T20I. Medium-pacer Shardul Thakur comes in as his replacement.