Yuzvendra Chahal replaced Ravindra Jadeja as a concussion substitute in the second innings of the first T20I at Manuka Oval on Friday (December 4).
Jadeja, who powered India to 161/7 with an unbeaten 44 off just 23 balls, copped a blow on the helmet by a Mitchell Starc delivery that glanced off his bat in the last over of India’s innings.
Since only four balls were left in the innings, no concussion test was conducted at that moment. But during the innings break, India made the change by including leg-spinner Chahal as Jadeja’s replacement.
UPDATE: Ravindra Jadeja was hit on the helmet in the final over of the first innings of the first T20I.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 4, 2020
As per the rules, a like-for-like replacement is allowed as a concussion substitute, and with Jadeja being one of India’s frontline spinners, match referee David Boon approved Virat Kohli’s request to bring in Chahal. The leggie went on to pick three wickets for 25 in his four overs, guiding India to victory with a match-winning performance.
In the meantime, Chahal coming in and bowling four overs has raised a lot of eyebrows. The Australian team’s head coach Justin Langer reacted in an animated fashion after he was told about the same by match referee Boon.
However, the Aussie captain Aaron Finch has played down the raging controversy over India’s concussion substitution.
“The injury got progressively worse as the game went on. Their doctor had ruled Jadeja out due to concussion. You can’t be challenging a medical expert’s opinion,” Finch said after the game.
He pointed fingers at Australia’s death bowling as the reason for their defeat in the series opener.
“We probably leaked too may runs at the death. Then while chasing, we didn’t hit too many boundaries in the 6-over period,” Finch added.
The Indian skipper Kohli, on the other hand, stated that he had no fixed plans as such to bring in Chahal as Jadeja’s
“There were no plans of having Yuzi in the game. Concussion replacements are a strange thing. Today, it worked for us. Yuzi showed character to squeeze the opponents,” Kohli said in the post-match interview.