Steve Smith, who made back-to-back centuries in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, was struck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the first innings of the second Test match.
Consequently, he will not play the third Test at Headingley due to the concussion he suffered at Lord’s.
This incident has caused the BCCI to think about the well-being of Indian cricketers. Recently, the apex body briefed the players on the importance of wearing an anti-concussion helmet. However, the Board has left it up to the players to decide if they want to use neck guards on their helmets.
Former opening batsman Virender Sehwag opened up about the issue on the mandatory use of neck pads. He was pretty much against such a thing being made compulsory.
“I never used chest pad in my life… So I don’t think I need to use neck pads. Batsmen have the bat in hand, helmet on head, what more do you need? ICC has allowed only two bouncers,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of The Selector app.
While Viru took the matter lightly, ex-India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh felt that neck guards could not be made mandatory based on Smith’s technique only.
“I would always listen to what Sunil Gavaskar has to say with regards to playing short balls. Watch the ball till last moment. But the odd delivery will hit you. It’s all about the technique. Look at the bowlers of yesteryear. Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Imran Khan and in our time Shoaib Akhtar, Brett Lee. They were all quick,” Bhajji told India Today.
“You can’t tell a youngster to copy Steve Smith’s technique. It’s very unique and very effective. But for him only. Also every team doesn’t have a Jofra Archer-like bowler. It could be against a team with medium pacers on Feroz Shah Kotla. Why do you need a neck guard there?” he added.