Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar finds nothing wrong in Yuzvendra Chahal coming on as a concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja but said that he doesn’t like the concept to cover a technical inability.
Chahal replaced Jadeja, who got hit on the helmet in the first T20 International and did a star turn with figures of 3 for 25 in the team’s 11-run victory in Canberra.
Jadeja has since been ruled out of the rest of the series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced late on Friday night. Pacer Shardul Thakur has been announced as a replacement for the all-rounder.
“First and foremost let me say that match referee is a former Australian cricketer David Boon. He was OK with Chahal substituting for Jadeja. They normally say like for like, you can argue that Chahal’s not an all-rounder. But anyone who goes out with the bat whether he scores 1 run of 100 runs is an all-rounder as far as I’m concerned,” Gavaskar told India Today.
“An Australian match referee had no objection to that. So I don’t see why there is so much noise about it.”
One of the greatest batsmen to have played the game, Gavaskar however said that he doesn’t endorse the concept of concussion substitute.
“On the business of concussion substitute itself, I don’t agree with it. Maybe I am old-fashioned, I have always believed that if you are not good enough to play the bouncer and you get hit on the helmet, then you don’t deserve a substitute. I am sorry,” Gavaskar said.
“But at the moment, it is being allowed as part of the rules of the game and according to the rules of the game, there was no problem with Chahal playing instead of Ravindra Jadeja.”
Gavaskar also went on say that India should stick to the XI that was on the field in the second half, with Chahal replacing Jadeja from the word go. “If Dhawan and Kohli score runs, if the No 4 clicks, then you would need a batsman at No 7 at all,” the former India opener added.
Earlier on Friday, Sanjay Manjrekar also questioned the protocol of the process.
“There is one important breach of protocol that has happened,” Manjrekar said on Sony Six on Friday.
“I am sure the match referee will raise with India but one of the main things with that protocol, the moment you get hit on the head, they (physio) have to spend time with the batsman out there, asking how he feels.
“The physio (Nitin Patel in this case) has to come in and there are a certain set of questions that need to be asked. With Jadeja, it just happened, there was hardly any delay and he continued playing,” Manjrekar said.
In fact, former Australia cricketer Tom Moody also raised doubts about severity of Jadeja’s injury since it didn’t require medical attention.
“I have no issue with Jadeja being substitute (sic) with Chahal. But I do have an issue with a Doctor & Physio not being present after Jadeja was struck on the helmet which I believe is protocol now?” asked former Australia cricketer Tom Moody, who is now a coach and a commentator.
The BCCI release said that the diagnosis was confirmed by their medical team based on a clinical assessment during the innings break. Jadeja is under observation and will be taken for further scans if required based on the assessment on Saturday.
Jadeja, who has been in fine form for India during the Australia tour, starred for India with the bat again on Friday. His 23-ball 43 powered India to a respectable total in the first T20I in Canberra that they managed to defend for an 11-run win.
(With PTI inputs)