It seems Australia are not happy just rolling India over. While they themselves were the first beneficiary of the concussion substitute rule, their coach is livid when it comes to the substitution of Ravindra Jadeja in the first Twenty20 international.
The angst was not really understandable. If anything Australia should have been the team to understand the need for a concussion substitute, having used it well before and greatly benefitted from it. However, Justin Langer was seen in a heated debate with fellow Australian and match referee, David Boon, taking a stand of protest for allowing India to substitute Ravindra Jadeja with Yuzvendra Chahal in the first Twenty20 international.
Jadeja played dynamite of an innings that gave India much-needed impetus in an innings that tottered considerably at points. However, in the course of the innings, Jadeja also suffered a blow to his head, fortunately, the helmet absorbing the hit.
India used the concussion rule at half time and appropriately took Jadeja off the field, citing he could not bowl and brought in another bowler, a specialist spinner at that. It was perhaps the choice of the substitute that irked Langer to no end as he carried out a notebook and was seen holding a heated conversation with Boon, Aaron Finch, the Australian skipper standing apart as the Australian skipper was fuming and incredulous.
Boon was seen explaining at some length, making his stance clear and standing his ground despite the coach’s mini fit. It seemed like a long break and hold up over an issue that Australia should understand more than others.
After all, Australia were the beneficiaries of the concussion substitute rule, using the concussion to Smith out to bring in Marcus Labuschagne as the first-ever concussion substitute in international cricket. Australia’s Ashes was benefitted from the fact that the young batsman found his sweet spot and Australia had two prolific batsmen by the end of the tour.
In that light, it seemed foolhardy that Australia would take up so much angst over Jadeja’s substitution, citing perhaps an advantage to India in making the move, irrespective of whether Jadeja was able to stand on his feet through the duration of the innings. However, the match referee does not make the decision lightly. It is made with the consultation of the medical doctor before arriving at the decision to let a team make the substitute.
It seemed like the wrong place and time for the Australian coach to take offence. He might have been better off raising the issue after the match is over. While cricketers are expected to be sporting and accepting the umpire’s decisions – right or wrong, should that rule not extend to the coach?