Jadeja concussion issue: Michael Vaughan questions absence of physio at time of incident

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India completed a comeback win over Australia in the first T20 international at Canberra but the big headline from the match was the use of concussion substitute rule, which allowed India to replace Ravindra Jadeja with leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who turned in a match-winning spell for the visitors.

India were struggling in their innings as a middle order collapse left them at 114 for 6 in 16.5 overs as the tail was exposed with Washington Sundar coming out to join Jadeja in the middle. Jadeja then produced a flurry of boundaries to push the run-rate up. In the middle of it all Jadeja seemed to have injured his hamstring as he struggled with it for a while and also had a physio tend to it.  

On the second ball of the final over, Jadeja was hit on the head as the ball ricocheted off the edge of the bat and hit the helmet. The ball looped up in the air but Moises Hneriques was unable to catch it. Jadeja looked fine despite the knock on the head and added 9 more runs in the over with the help of two boundaries, which in the end turned out to be extremely crucial as India won by a margin of 11 runs. 

At the start of Australia’s innings, captain Aaron Finch and coach Justin Langer were seen involved in a discussion with match referee David Boon as India had used the concussion substitute rule to get Yuzvendra Chahal in the playing XI in place of Jadeja. 

Chahal went on to play a massive role and was adjudged Man of the Match as he picked up the crucial wickets of Finch and Steve Smith and also dismissed Matthew Wade to end with figures of 3/25 from his four overs.

While India were entitled to get a substitute as per rules as Jadeja was hit on the head, but the protocol also states that a physio or doctor should come out to inspect the player at the time of the incident and the helmet should also be changed after the hit. Both these protocols were not followed at the time Jadeja was hit on the head. 

Former England captain and cricket pundit Michael Vaughan has thus questioned India’s use of the substitution rule as it looked like Jadeja would struggle to bowl due to the hamstring injury. Also, with the ball turning for the Australian spinners in the first innings, Chahal’s late inclusion tilted the scales in India’s favour.

“No Doctor or Physio came out to Test Jadeja for concussion … he then looks like his has done something to his leg … then they pull the concussion replacement .. !!!!! #RatSniffed #OnOn #AUSvIND,” Vaughan wrote on Twitter

Here is what the ICC rulebook says about the concussion substitute:

1.2.8.1 In assessing whether the nominated Concussion Replacement should be considered a like-for-like player, the ICC Match Referee should consider the likely role the concussed player would have played during the remainder of the match, and the normal role that would be performed by the nominated Concussion Replacement.

1.2.8.2 If the ICC Match Referee believes that the inclusion of the nominated Concussion Replacement, when performing their normal role, would excessively advantage their team, the Match Referee may impose such conditions upon the identity and involvement of the Concussion Replacement as he/she sees fit, in line with the overriding objective of facilitating a like-for-like replacement for the concussed player.  

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