There was drama aplenty on and off the field in Canberra on Friday as Ravindra Jadeja was replaced by Yuzvendra Chahal in the first T20 International against Australia, with both the players making match-winning contributions much to the frustration of the home side.
India used the concussion substitute protocols in place to replace Jadeja with Chahal during the first innings break.
Before Jadeja was hit by a Mitchell Starc bouncer in the final over of the Indian innings, he was seen limping while running between the wickets. He remained unbeaten at 44 off 23 balls, which helped India post 161/7 that ultimately proved enough for a win by 11 runs.
Chahal’s 3/25 in his four overs had a massive role to play in clinching that triumph and he was adjudged player of the match for it.
“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,” read a BCCI post on its Twitter handle.
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.
Australia head coach Justin Langer was seen having an animated conversation with match referee David Boon on the sidelines but it was not known whether it had anything to with the decision to allow Chahal as a concussion substitute.
“Their doctor had ruled Jadeja out due to concussion. You can’t be challenging a medical expert’s opinion,” Finch said after the match.
His teammate and 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.
While the rules allow for a like-for-like substitute considering what the player would have done in the remainder of the match, the situation was complicated by Jadeja’s injury before being hit on the helmet as he might not have bowled anyway. The fact that the physio did not attend to Jadeja after he got hit was raised by fans and experts.
Here are more reactions to the incident: