Henriques questions Chahal being ‘like-for-like’ substitute for Jadeja

Moises Henriques has said Australia have no problem with Ravindra Jadeja being substituted out for a concussion, but has questioned if Yuzvendra Chahal was a like-for-like replacement for him.

A combination of Jadeja, the batsman, and Chahal, the bowler, knocked Australia out in a T20 international that they controlled for long periods. Jadeja first rescued India from 114 for 6 to help post 161 with an unbeaten 23-ball 44. In the process, he did appear to injure his hamstring, but also top-edged a Mitchell Starc bouncer into his helmet in the last over of the innings. He was substituted by Chahal in the innings break, and the wristspinner turned in a match-winning analysis of 4-0-25-3, which included the wickets of Aaron Finch and Steven Smith.

During the innings break, an animated Australia coach, Justin Langer, could be seen remonstrating with match referee David Boon. At the post-match presentation, Finch said he had no reason to doubt the opinion of medical experts, a sentiment Henriques repeated.

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“From our point as a player you’ve just got to roll and get on with it,” Henriques said. “Once a decision has been made you just move forward and do what you can to win the fixture. When you’ve got professionals in place to make those decisions, and there’s no doubt he got a knock on the helmet, so from my point of view I do like to try and see the best in everyone. But having said that, whether it was a like-for-like replacement, that’s the only thing moving forward, that’s the question we’d like to see.”

Already injured before he got hit on the head, it is not clear if Jadeja would have bowled or how effective he would have been if he did, but that is not the issue Henriques had. “Like for like, from my point of view, it would definitely be one’s an allrounder and a gun fielder, and the other one is an out-and-out bowler who bats [at] 11. That’s the only thing from my point of view. I’d like to look into if that’s a like-for-like decision.”

Jadeja is a fingerspinner, who was dropped from Indian limited-overs sides in 2017 in favour of wristspinners for the lack of penetration. He forced his way back in because of the lack of depth in India’s batting, which will suggest fingerspinners are not as effective as wristspinners in T20s. Coming into this match, Jadeja had gone 13 T20 matches without taking more than one wicket. In nine of those, he had been wicketless.

However, the final decision rested with Boon, the match referee. The ICC playing conditions say: “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.”

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