Yuzvendra Chahal had a dramatic outing on Friday as he became the first concussion substitute to be named Player of the Match in international cricket during the first T20I between India and Australia. Chahal, who picked up three wickets for 25 runs, guided India to a thrilling 11-run victory over Australia in the first T20I at the Manuka Oval, Canberra. Coming into bowl during a tricky phase, when Australia were dominating India in 162 chase. Also Read - IPL vs PSL: Dale Steyn Underlines Drawback of Playing in Indian Premier League, Says Money is Given More Importance, Cricket Takes Back Seat
Chahal accounted for wickets for Australia captain Aaron Finch, Steven Smith in his first two overs. His final figures of 4-0-25-3 helped India choke Australia. Towards the back end of the innings, Chahal returned to dismiss Matthew Wade to further dent the home team. Also Read - India vs England 4th Test 2021: Ravichandran Ashwin is One Of India's Greatest Match Winners, Says Aakash Chopra, VVS Laxman
During the mid innings, Chahal had replaced Ravindra Jadeja as the concussion substitute. The latter was hit by a Mitchell Starc bouncer in the final over of the Indian innings, he was seen limping while running between the wickets. Jadeja remained unbeaten at 44 off 23 balls, which helped India post 161/7 that ultimately proved enough for the visitors. Also Read - Ravi Shastri Receives First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Before India vs England 4th Test in Ahmedabad
“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.
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,” said Australia captain Aaron Finch 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 said in the post-match press conference.
After being hit on the helmet, Jadeja seemed fine and walked back to the dressing room, prompting a bit of chatter among the commentators on the severity of his injury.
“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.