Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar said that the noise around Yuzvendra Chahal replacing Ravindra Jadeja as a ‘concussion substitute’ is uncalled for, since match-referee David Boon, a former Australian cricketer, has no issues in approving the same.
A major controversy broke out during the 1st T20I between hosts Australia and India after Yuzvendra Chahal replaced all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja after the southpaw was hit on his helmet by a Mitchell Starc bouncer in the final over of India’s innings.
Following the match referee’s approval to include Chahal as a concussion substitute, Australian head coach Justin Langer was seen having an animated discussion with David Boon before the start of the home side’s run-chase.
The decision proved to be a game-changer as Chahal bowled a match-winning spell of 3-25 in four overs which included key scalps of Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, and Matthew Wade.
“The match referee is an Australian, he is a former Australian cricketer David Boon. He was okay with Chahal substituting 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. And he bowls so it’s a like for like replacement. And the Australian match referee had no objection so I don’t see why there is so much of noise about it,” Sunil Gavaskar told India Today.
‘Ravindra Jadeja’s inning was the game-changer- Sunil Gavaskar
Gavaskar, who has in the past, voiced his opinion against the concussion substitute rule, said that while he is not in favor of the said law, India was well within their rights to use the same in the first T20I.
“On the business of concussion substitute itself I don’t agree because maybe I’m old-fashioned, I’ve always believed that if you’re not good enough to play the bouncer and you get hit on the helmet then you don’t deserve substitutes. But at the moment it is being allowed and according to the rules of the game, everything was done according to it and there was no problem with Chahal playing instead of Ravindra Jadeja,” Gavaskar opined.
The former Indian opener also reckoned that Ravindra Jadeja’s whirlwind 23-ball 44- an innings that included five fours and a six- proved to be the game-changer and unless Australia has strolled their way to 80 or 90 without losing a wicket, it was always going to be a difficult task for the home side to hunt a total in excess of 160.
This is the kind of cricket you want to see that makes isolation [Gavaskar is in self-quarantine in Australia] easier. In T20 cricket especially in big grounds like the ones in Australia, a total of 145 or 150 is also a high total but India got even more than that. India got 161, thanks to that late flourish from Ravindra Jadeja. And once that happened, unless Australia got off to a brilliant start like 80-90 for no loss, it was always going to be tough for the Australians without Warner to be able to get those runs. And Smith also failed,” Sunil Gavaskar added.