Ever since the provision of concussion substitution was introduced in Test cricket earlier this year, there have been five such changes effected by teams – with Indian pace bowlers unfortunately being responsible for four of the five.
The fourth and fifth such substitutions were done by Bangladesh in their ongoing match against India in Kolkata – the first time two concussion substitutes have been brought on. Liton Das and Mohammad Nayeem, both hit on the helmet by Mohammed Shami bouncers, were replaced by Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam.
In the series against South Africa as well, Dean Elgar copped a blow off Umesh Yadav’s bowling in Ranchi, forcing the Proteas to replace him with Theunis de Bruyn.
In the series before that, in the West Indies, a Jasprit Bumrah snorter was responsible for a concussion substitution – Darren Bravo had to replaced by Jermaine Blackwood in Kingston.
There has been one such forced change in matches not involving India – which was possibly the most successful substitution. After Steve Smith was hit on the helmet in the Ashes Test at Lord’s, Marnus Labuschagne came on in his place and lived up to the name he replaced. Labuschagne’s international career has rocketed since then.
It is good to see the concussion sub rule being used where it is necessary… but it shouldn’t be so necessary. It seems as if batsmen are getting hit on the head more often https://t.co/V6SASvnG6P
— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) November 22, 2019
There has been some controversy generated over the concussion substitution as well, with Indian commentators Sunil Gavaskar and Murali Kartik having suggested during the Bangladesh match that teams are now misusing the provision.
Gavaskar said batsmen should not play cricket if they cannot deal with the short ball – something he himself did without much protection for years in his playing days. Kartik said batsmen are now going off at the first sign of trouble.
They were both criticized heavily by fans on social media, with some saying that such a take is insensitive in the aftermath of the tragic death of Philip Hughes after being hit on the head in 2014.
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