India had to bring in Yuzvendra Chahal as a replacement for Ravindra Jadeja during the first T20I match against Australia in Canberra on Friday, invoking the concussion protocols in place from the International Cricket Council.
With India batting first, all-rounder Jadeja had smashed 44 runs from just 23 balls to help the visitors reach 161/7 in the opening T20 clash of the series at Manuka Oval on Friday.
Jadeja came to the crease with India struggling to post a competitive total and appeared to strain his hamstring when he was on 18.
But although limping badly, he smashed the Australian attack to all corners, scoring 30 runs from his final 10 balls to allow his side to post a competitive total.
Later in his innings, Jadeja was hit on the helmet by a short ball. The incident happened in the 20th over of India’s innings. The bouncer from Mitchell Starc took an edge and then hit Jadeja on the helmet before a catching opportunity was missed by the fielder at point.
It is worth noting that, as per what we know so far, a physio did not immediately attend to Jadeja after getting hit on the helmet. The left-hander, when he came back on strike, hit nine runs off the last three balls to take India to 161/7.
What does the rulebook say?
“Ravindra Jadeja was hit on the helmet in the final over of the first innings of the first T20I. Yuzvendra Chahal will take the field in the 2nd innings as a concussion substitute. Jadeja is currently being assessed by the BCCI Medical Team,” the Indian cricket board tweeted.
Read more about what was said on air by commentators on Fox Cricket here.
According to ESPNCricinfo, Australia coach Justin Langer, “was seen remonstrating with match referee David Boon just before the start of the chase. Captain Aaron Finch also stood by during the discussion, but didn’t appear to say anything.”
Chahal returned figures of 3/25 after four overs, the best among Indian players. The leg-spinner picked up the key wicket of Aaron Finch, and bowled with great control in general as the hosts were restricted to 150/7 with India winning by 11 runs.
Earlier, Finch won the toss and decided to bowl.
Chahal’s inclusion had to be approved by the match referee — former Australian cricketer David Boon, in this case — as per the rules in place.
While questions were raised about replacing an all-rounder with a spinner, the rules mention that the referee should consider the role that the player would have played for the remainder of the match.
Here’s what the ICC Playing Handbook 2019-’20 says about the concussion substitute replacement:
The ICC Match Referee should ordinarily approve a Concussion Replacement Request if the replacement is a like-for-like player whose inclusion will not excessively advantage his team for the
remainder of the match.
18.104.22.168 In assessing whether the nominated Concussion Replacement should be considered a like-for-like player, the ICC Match Referee should consider the likely role the concussed player would have played during the remainder of the match, and the normal role that would be performed by the nominated Concussion Replacement.
22.214.171.124 If the ICC Match Referee believes that the inclusion of the nominated Concussion Replacement, when performing their normal role, would excessively advantage their team, the Match Referee may impose such conditions upon the identity and involvement of the Concussion Replacement as he/she sees fit, in line with the overriding objective of facilitating a like-for-like replacement for the concussed player.
126.96.36.199 The ICC Match Referee may, in reviewing a Concussion Replacement Request made in accordance with clause 188.8.131.52, request any such further information as may be required in order to make the determination required under clauses 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11.
What was said after the match?
During the presentation ceremony, India captain Virat Kohli said Jadeja was feeling dizzy after the knock on the head while Finch shrugged it off too.
“There were no plans of having Yuzi (Chahal) in the game. Jaddu (Jadeja) got a knock on the side of the head and was a bit dizzy and still is,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
“Concussion replacements are a strange thing, today it worked for us maybe another time he wouldn’t have found a like-for-like,” he added.
Kohli was full of praise for all his players but singled out Jadeja and Chahal for their efforts.
“He (Chahal) came in and bowled really well. The pitch offered him enough. Yuzi showed character to squeeze the opponents. I thought they had a great start. They were cruising. The batters offered us a few wickets. That is T20 cricket for you,” he said.
Finch accepted the decision.
“They let us know their doctor had ruled Jadeja out with concussion, and you aren’t going to overrule medical advice,” Finch said.
Chahal, incidentally, was declared player of the match.
“It was a great feeling,” Chahal said. “There was no pressure for me when we were batting, then I got to know I was going to play – 10 to 15 minutes before, I got to know I would play.”
All-rounder Moises Henriques was a bit more forthcoming on the frustration felt by the side.
“A decision was taken that there was a concussion and we are fine with that. But was there a like for like replacement? Jadeja was more of an all-rounder, and he had done his batting. Chahal is a bowler,” he is quoted as saying by PTI after the match.
Later, Sanju Samson confirmed that Jadeja was left dizzy during the innings break.
“He got hit on the helmet in the last over (off Starc) and when he came back to the dressing room, he was asked by the physio (Nitin Patel) how he felt. He (Jadeja) said that he was feeling a little dizzy,” Samson said during the post-match virtual media conference, reported PTI.
“He is under observation as per team doctor’s (Dr Abhijit Salvi) advice.”
Samson, however, couldn’t provide any update on how Jadeja’s hamstring is after he suffered a niggle and needed heavy strapping during the 19th over bowled by Josh Hazlewood.
“I don’t know how Jaddu bhai is feeling as the physio is taking care of that.”
India: 161/7 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 51, Ravindra Jadeja 44 not out; Moises Henriques 3/22).
Australia: 150 for 7 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 35; Yuzvendra Chahal 3/25, T Natarajan 3/30).
Update from BCCI
Later on Friday night, BCCI confirmed that Jadeja will not take further part in the T20I series.
Ravindra Jadeja sustained a concussion after being hit on the left side of his forehead in the final over of the first innings of the first T20I against Australia in Canberra..
The diagnosis was confirmed based on a clinical assessment in the dressing room during the innings break by the BCCI Medical Team. Jadeja remains under observation and will be taken for further scans if required based on the assessment on Saturday morning. He will not take any further part in the ongoing T20I series.
The All-India Senior Selection Committee has added Shardul Thakur to India’s T20I squad.