Former Indian cricketer Anil Kumble has backed India's decision to replace Ravindra Jadeja with Yuzvendra Chahal after he was concussed during the first T20I. He also added that with Jadeja already done with batting, he needed to be replaced with a spinner, which India duly did.
Amid the much friendly ongoing Australia-India tour, there was the first dash of controversy in the first T20I when Yuzvendra Chahal was brought in as a replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, who was hit on the head and later got concussed and was ruled out of the game. However, Australian coach Justin Langer was livid with the decision and was seen having a heated discussion with the match referee while many Australian supporters also cried foul as they reckoned that India took an unfair advantage in the guise of the rules.
However, former Indian cricketer Anil Kumble, who headed the Cricket Committee of the ICC that recommended and got the concussion replacement rule approved, feels India didn't do anything wrong and they were right in replacing Jadeja with Chahal.
"This rule has been in force for last couple of years after the tragic demise of Phil Hughes. There was a push for a substitute to come in when someone gets hit on the head and concussion is a big thing. I know Jadeja did pull his hamstring after he got hit on the head or before he got hit. Whenever he got hit I don't think it has got anything to do with replacement," Kumble said at a virtual book launch, reported TOI.
There were also questions raised why Jadeja didn't call the physio if his head injury was that serious at the time of getting hit. Kumble stated that it was umpire's duty to call for the physio and check on the player.
"I don't think it is Jadeja's call to ask for a physio. It is for the umpires to stop the game and call for a physio. That did not happen perhaps because Jadeja ran for the single and he continued to play. He was fine. And concussion doesn't necessarily mean it has to happen on the field. You can come back to the dressing room and then you may feel headache or dizziness. That's when the doctors will step in and stop. That's what probably happened in this case," the former India captain said.
Australians were of the opinion that Chahal wasn't a like-for-like replacement for Jadeja as he's a specialist spinner. But, Kumble told that since Jadeja was done with batting, a like-for-like replacement meant the need for someone, who could fill in his shoes as a spinner.
"But Jadeja had done his part of the batting. So, you look at the other skills he brings in. He is a spinner. That's why a spinner (Chahal) was brought in as like-to-like replacement. If the roles were to be replaced, for example, if he was concussed when on the field when India was bowling and if Jadeja had to bat and couldn't bat then I am sure Chahal wouldn't have been like-to-like replacement. You would have looked at a batsman to come in place of Jadeja. I am sure Chahal would have been listed in the 15. I don't see any issue with the concussion replacement," he explained.
Jadeja has been ruled out of the T20I series already and Shardul Thakur has replaced him in the side for the remainder of the T20I series. Kumble also declared that Rohit Sharma is ready to take over India's captaincy when the time arrives.
"[He was] extremely confident when we gave him the captaincy offer at Mumbai Indians. It came naturally to him. He is ready for the challenge. Good we are discussing that we have the option of a second guy. We are lucky we have Rohit who has been successful [in the IPL]. When the time comes and the need I am sure he will be ready," said Kumble, who has been a part of the Mumbai Indians' coaching staff.