The Indian team management has dismissed allegations that the concussion substitution for Ravindra Jadeja in the first T20I against Australia was a tactical move, Cricbuzz reported.
India had invoked the concussion protocols in place to replace Jadeja with Yuzvendra Chahal.
Jadeja was hit on the helmet by a rising delivery from Mitchell Starc during his match-turning 44 not out at Manuka Oval on Friday in the 20th over of India’s innings. He did not get immediate medical treatment but was examined at the innings break and replaced by substitute Chahal, who then took three crucial wickets as India won by 11 runs.
The concussion has since ruled Jadeja out of the T20I series, which India won in Sydney on Sunday.
The substitution created controversy in some circles because Jadeja had earlier suffered a leg strain and received extensive treatment, casting doubt over whether he would be able to bowl, before being withdrawn for concussion.
A senior team official has told Cricbuzz that Sanju Samson was the first to notice that Jadeja was not feeling alright and he informed Mayank Agarwal, who then alerted the management. They were worried about the situation and started icing the allrounder on his head and neck.
“At that point, we didn’t even focus on his hamstring. It was all about ensuring that he get immediate help,” a team official is quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“We now know all about head trauma injuries and how dangerous it can be. Our focus was to purely make sure he’s feeling better. And once the doctor had assessed him, we felt like we had no choice but to consult David Boon regarding the protocols for getting a concussion substitute.
“It’s quite ridiculous that someone would think we would use one of our batsmen getting hit on the head as a tactic for anything,” the official reportedly added.
The BCCI officially informed about the decision to withdraw Jadeja from the series on Friday.
“The diagnosis was confirmed based on a clinical assessment in the dressing room during the innings break by the BCCI medical team,” the Indian cricket board had said in a statement issued the same night.
Seamer Shardul Thakur was added to the squad as cover.
“He got hit on the helmet in the last over (off Mitchell 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 had told media on Friday.
India captain Virat Kohli had also said that there was immediate concerns over Jadeja’s health in the dressing room.
“Concussion replacements are a strange thing, today it worked for us, maybe another time we wouldn’t have found a like-for-like,” Kohli had said after the game, adding that Jadeja felt dazed in the innings break and was still groggy at the end of the match.
Finch had accepted the decision, saying: “They let us know their doctor had ruled Jadeja out with concussion, and you aren’t going to overrule medical advice.”
Australia coach Justin Langer was furious, remonstrating with match referee David Boon, apparently unhappy that Chahal, a specialist bowler, was allowed to take the place of an allrounder.
Concussion substitutes were introduced to international cricket last year in a bid to improve player welfare. It allows teams to replace someone with a “like for like” player, approved by the match referee.
(With AFP inputs)
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