Former India batsman-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar hinted that there might have been a breach in protocol in the way a concussion substitute was used for Ravindra Jadeja during the 1st T20I between India and Australia in Canberra on Friday. Indian physio Nitin Patel’s absence on the field of play just after Jadeja got hit on the head by a Mitchell Starc bouncer in the final over of the innings is a ‘breach’ of concussion protocol, feels Manjrekar. Also Read - India vs Australia: Steve Smith Hails Rishabh Pant; Calls Him "Exceptional Talent"
Jadeja, who had also suffered a hamstring injury, was replaced by Yuzvendra Chahal, who got 3 for 25 to guide India to an 11-run victory in the first T20 International against Australia at the Manuka Oval. “There is one important breach of protocol that has happened,” Manjrekar said on ‘Sony Six’ on Friday. Also Read - Team India Reclaims Top Spot in World Test Championship, Jumps to Second in ICC Rankings After Historic 2-1 Series Win Over Australia
“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. Also Read - Never Ever, Ever Underestimate The Indians: Justin Langer After Series Defeat
“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.
Manjrekar on his part said that Jadeja continuing to bat didn’t give any massive advantage to India as they added only nine runs after that but the credibility of his injury can be questioned.
“He added just 9 runs, it wasn’t a massive advantage. But after that (hit), there should have been at least 2-3 minutes where India support staff should have come out. And then it would have looked a little more credible.”
However, Manjrekar agreed that match referee David Boon had no option but to allow India a concussion substitute.
“I would say one thing though, David Boon had no choice but to give India the concussion substitute because he would not have the courage to say he wouldn’t allow it because, at the time of impact, no attention was given,” he said.
“He had to give the concussion substitute once the request was made.”
Manjrekar said that while the rules are made with good intentions, some thought needs to be put in so that teams don’t misuse it.
“After this, there is going to be a lot of thought given to concussion substitute and the whole concept, because we, as players, there are rules made with good intentions, but we’re masters at just trying to find a loophole in the rule to our own advantage.
“Whether India took advantage, I don’t know but there’s something that ICC will start looking at,” Manjrekar said.
Manjrekar believes that ICC will have a look at the fact that the physio didn’t come out to attend Jadeja.
“You know what ICC or referee will have a problem with this is there was no visit by the physio, nobody came, no time was taken to see him, he carried on playing.”
The concept of like-for-like replacement can also be questioned since Jadeja had a hamstring injury.
“ICC will also make sure no team uses it unfairly, I am not suggesting India used it unfairly and got an unfair advantage. They want the like-for-like replacement. In this case, Jadeja, with the hamstring, is not the same bowler, as Chahal was,” Manjrekar said.