The first T20I between India and Australia witnessed a massive debate over the rule of concussion substitute after Yuzvendra Chahal replaced allrounder Ravindra Jadeja as the team’s concussion substitute when India came out to defend the total of 162 in Canberra.
Ravindra Jadeja was seen suffering from a hamstring strain, and he also struck on the helmet by Mitchell Starc. Despite these troubles, Sir Jadeja smashed 44 in 23 balls to help India to a substantial total.
During the innings break, the Indian team doctor deemed that Jadeja had suffered a concussion and informed the match-referee, David Boon, that India would require a concussion-substitute Chahal, and Boon approved the request.
However, the Australian camp looks unhappy with concussion-substitute. The Australian coach Justin Langer caught exchanging angry words with Boon by the boundary rope before Australia’s batting innings.
“Boony was just letting us know that the doctor had ruled Jadeja out with a concussion. There is not much we could say to that,” Finch said later.
According to the new concussion rules in cricket, “the decision of the ICC Match Referee in relation to any Concussion Replacement Request shall be final and neither team shall have any right to appeal.”
However, the rule also states that only like-for-like replacements are allowed, and both Jadeja and Chahal are frontline spinners for India. But the body language of Langer’s indicates that he felt India had taken advantage of the leg-spinner immediately after two Australian leg-spinners in Adam Zampa and Mitchell Swepson had performed well.
When Chahal was asked about that, he said, “Ten to fifteen minutes before the break suddenly I got to know I was going to play. I saw how Zampa had bowled so I followed that.”
Before India’s first concussion-substitute, Chahal had bowled a ball, Australia was cruising at 54/0 after seven overs, and suddenly Chahal applied the brakes as he removed the well-set Finch for 35 in his first over.
In form, Steve Smith was Chahal’s second wicket, and he finished off his spell with the last ball wicket of Matthew Wade with the figures of 3/25. However, Australians were restricted by 150 runs in limited 20 over and lost the match by 11 runs.
The Twelfth man Chahal won the man of the match and rubbed salt into Australia‘s wounds.
At the post-match presentation, Kohli said, “There were no plans of him being in the team. Concussion replacements, they are a strange thing. Today it worked for us, but at another time maybe we wouldn’t have found a like-for-like.”
India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series, and both teams will meet again on Sunday in Sydney.
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