Canberra: Yuzvendra Chahal turned out to be the perfect concussion substitute after an injured Ravindra Jadeja did his part with the bat.
The duo played its role to perfection in India’s 11-run victory over Australia in the first T20 International here on Friday.
While Jadeja smashed an unbeaten 44 off 23 balls to propel India to 161 for seven, his head injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Virat Kohli-led India unleashed leg-spinner Chahal (3 for 25) as Australia, which managed only 150 for seven, was caught off-guard.
Credit was also due to the lion-hearted performances from debutant Thangarasu Natarajan (3 for 30) and off-spinner Washington Sundar (0 for 16). ICC match referee David Boon allowed the visitor a like-for-like replacement – as mandated by the rules – for Jadeja in Chahal even though home team coach Justin Langer looked visibly angry.
Says Virat Kohli, ‘There were no plans of having Yuzi in the game. Concussion replacements are a strange thing. Today, it worked for us. Yuzi showed character to squeeze the opponents. I thought they had a great start. They were cruising. The batters offered us a few wickets. That is T20 cricket for you. In Australia, you need to play hard and show intensity till the end. He batted beautifully in the last game. Natarajan looks like he can improve a lot. Chahar bowled well as well. Chahal got us back in the game. Hardik’s catch was a game changer as well.’
On his part, Finch, said, ‘The injury got progressively worse as the game went on (about his injury to the hip). Their doctor had ruled Jadeja out due to concussion. You can’t be challenging a medical expert’s opinion. We probably leaked too may runs at the death. Then while chasing, we didn’t hit too many boundaries in the 6-over period.’
Jadeja ruled out of rest of T20I series
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who sustained a concussion during the first T20 against Australia here on Friday, has been ruled out of the remainder of India’s three-match T20 series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Friday.
Pacer Shardul Thakur has been included in the T20 squad. Jadeja was hit on the head while playing a shot in the last over, bowled by speedster Mitchell Starc. He sustained a concussion, and Thakur has replaced him in the squad.