India have dismissed suggestions that they used Yuzvendra Chahal as a 'tactical concussion substitute' for Ravindra Jadeja in the first T20I against Australia, calling such claims 'ridiculous'.
In a report in Cricbuzz, a senior team official narrated the sequence of events that ultimately led to Chahal turning up for Jadeja in the second innings of the game. Chahal bagged three wickets and emerged Man of the Match. He said Samson was the first player to spot that Jadeja was hit flush on the head, and by the time the message was sent across to the management, there was only one ball left in the innings.
"Sanju (Samson) was the first one to see it. He immediately informed Mayank (Agarwal), who was seated next to him, that the blow was flush on the helmet. And Mayank then ran up to inform the team management," Cricbuzz quoted a senior team official as saying.
"We immediately called for the team doctor and he started icing Jadeja's head and neck. We were quite worried. But even after a while he told us he was feeling groggy."
Jadeja had been hit on the head in the second ball of the last over, bowled by Mitchell Starc. He had also injured his hamstring in the previous over.
"At that point, we didn't even focus on his hamstring. It was all about ensuring that he get immediate help. We now know all about head trauma injuries and how dangerous it can be. Our focus was to purely make sure he's feeling better. And once the doctor had assessed him, we felt like we had no choice but to consult David Boon regarding the protocols for getting a concussion substitute," the official said.
"It's quite ridiculous that someone would think we would use one of our batsmen getting hit on the head as a tactic for anything."
The official stressed they had no idea what the animated conversation was between Australia coach Justin Langer and Boon. Jadeja was eventually ruled out of the T20I series. The concussion, coupled with the hamstring injury, means Jadeja is not a sure starter for the Test series as well.