Australian all-rounder Moises Henriques was baffled by team India fielding Yuzvendra Chahal as a concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja. Playing a quickfire knock of 44*, Jadeja helped India reach a competitive total of 161-7 in their 20 overs in the first T20I at Canberra. However, he was struggling with a hamstring injury and was also hit on the helmet by a short-pitched ball from Mitchell Starc.
Chahal came on as a concussion substitute for Jadeja and had a big impact in the second innings of the game, as his figures of 3-25 helped India beat Australia by 11 runs. Henriques believes that Chahal was not the proper like-for-like replacement for Jadeja as the latter is a fine all-rounder while the former is just a pure bowler.
Many believe that India took advantage of the loopholes in the rules for bringing in Chahal as a concussion substitute. Henriques wanted a clearer picture on the same point.
“When you got doctors making those decisions to say that they can have a concussion sub then no doubt those decisions need to be made. But what happened from there is the next question I guess,” Moises Henriques said after the game in the post-match video-conference
“Well, the like-for-like from my point of view will be that one is an all-rounder, a gun fielder and the other one is just an out-and-out bowler who bats at No.11. So that is the only thing from my point of view, had nothing to do with his hammy (hamstring). I would like to look into whether that is a like-for-like decision so to speak,” Moises Henriques further added.
Moises Henriques said he had no problem with the concussion rule. He also agrees that if a player is hit on the helmet and the team doctor advises him to rest, he should be replaced. However, he wasn’t convinced that Chahal was the like-for-like replacement for Jadeja. Moises Henriques wanted the ‘like-for-like replacement’ term to be taken seriously in order to make it as fair as possible for both the teams.
“I think the concussion rule is fine. If a player gets hit on the helmet and if the doctor says that he is concussed, then he hundred percent needs to be replaced, there is no doubt. It is just whether it is like-for-like, that is the only thing for me. I guess in terms of moving forward trying to make the game as fair as possible for everybody, I just think like-for-like replacement is probably the way to go,” Moises Henriques asserted.
India will play their second T20I against Australia on December 6 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Whether the Men in Blue will go on and clinch the series or the Aussies will bounce back remains to be seen.