India vs Australia: Don’t think any team will fake a head injury, says Deep Dasgupta

Former cricketer Deep Dasgupta has backed match referee David Boon for allowing Yuzvendra Chahal to replace Ravindra Jadeja after the all-rounder got hit on the helmet and suffered a delayed concussion during the first T20I against Australia in Canberra on Friday.

Controversy erupted at the Manuka Oval during the mid-innings break when match referee David Boon and Australia head coach Justin Langer were seen having an animated discussion.

The reason behind Langer’s anger became clear a few minutes later when Team India announced that Chahal would be playing as a concussion substitute for Jadeja, who got hit on the helmet by a Mitchell Starc bouncer on the final over of India’s innings.

Chahal bagged 3 wickets and picked up the Player of the Match award as India beat Australia by 13 runs after successfully defending 161 in 20 overs. India captain Virat Kohli later revealed that Jadeja showed signs of a delayed concussion and therefore, couldn’t take the field during Australia’s run chase.

Hours after the game the BCCI announced that Jadeja will miss the remaining two T20Is due to the concussion and named fast bowler Shardul Thakur as his replacement in the squad.

Arguing in favour of India, Dasgupta said that Kohli’s team didn’t break any law by playing Chahal as the concussion substitute for Jadeja, who was also suffering from a hamstring injury even before he got hit on the head by the Mitchell Starc bouncer.

“I can understand why the Australians and Justin Langer felt aggrieved because the whole concussion thing came under the scanner because Jadeja also suffered a hamstring injury while he was batting and he limped off after India’s innings. That was the main reason behind the cloud.

“I don’t think anyone will take head injury lightly and shouldn’t take it lightly. And I also don’t think anyone will fake something as serious as a head injury. Across all sports, head injuries are taken extremely seriously and I don’t think any team, forget about Virat Kohli’s team and the Indian team management, will fake it,” Dasgupta said on Sports Today.

Dasgupta also went on to explain why Jadeja continued to bat despite getting hit on the head and justified Kohli’s post-match statement that Chahal was a “like-for-like replacement”.

“As far as the protocols are concerned, the team physiotherapist comes out as soon as a player gets hit on the head and he undergoes a concussion test. Unfortunately that did not happen in Jadeja’s case because he went on to play after getting hit. He did not feel anything at the time and continued to bat.

“When your in the heat of the moment the adrenaline is so high that more often than not you don’t feel the pain. You only start feeling the pain when everything settles down, when the heart rate comes down. And that’s when you start feeling the pain. It is very much possible that the concussion is delayed, that feeling is delayed and that could have happened with Jadeja as well.

“If you just look at like-for-like replacement then obviously India have an all-rounder in Jadeja and a bowler in Chahal. But if your looking at like-for-like for the remaining part of the game, that’s what Jadeja was going to do. He would have bowled 4 overs and that’s exactly what Chahal did as a spinner, bowled 4 overs.

“As far as the game that was still remaining, I think it was a like-for-like replacement. The match referee has full powers to decide what is like-for-like, in some cases the match referee has actually restricted the replacement from doing a few things. Like-for-like is based on the remaining part of the game and I think David Boon, the match referee, was absolutely right,” Dasgupta said.

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