NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Batting great Sunil Gavaskar said he was surprised over the controversy regarding a concussion substitute allowed to India during their victory in the Twenty20 series opener against Australia in Sydney on Friday.
India's spin-bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja top-edged a Mitchell Starc bouncer into his helmet in the last over of the innings but was replaced by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal only during the innings break.
Australia coach Justin Langer was seen remonstrating with match referee and former team mate David Boon before Australia began their chase at Manuka Oval.
"You can argue that Chahal's not an all-rounder, but any bowler who goes out with the bat, whether he scores one run or 100 runs, is an all-rounder, as far as I'm concerned," former India captain Gavaskar told the India Today news channel.
"And he bowls, so it's a like-for-like replacement, and the Australian match referee had no objection to that. So I don’t see why there is so much of noise about it."
Later, India captain Virat Kohli said Jadeja, who was subsequently ruled out of the remainder of the series, was dizzy after the head knock.
Like-for-like concussion substitutes were introduced last year to ensure players' safety against head injuries.
Chahal rubbed salt in Australia's wound by claiming match-winning figures of 3-25.
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir said it was a match referee's call whether to allow the substitution.
"There could be a delayed concussion as well ... India used it to the best of their advantage by having a wrist-spinner," Gambhir told the ESPNcricinfo website.
Former Australia player Tom Moody wondered why Jadeja did not receive immediate medical attention after the head knock.
"I have no issue with Jadeja being substituted with Chahal," he said on Twitter. "But I do have an issue with a doctor and physio not being present after Jadeja was struck on the helmet which, I believe, is protocol now?"
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by...)