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Indian spin bowler Yuzvendra Chahal took 3-25 after coming on as a concussion substitute.
Australia coach Justin Langer clashed with referee David Boon before a controversial concussion substitution allowed Yuzvendra Chahal to help spin India to victory in the opening Twenty20 cricket international on Friday.
Australia fell 11 runs short of India’s 161-7 at Manuka Oval.
Australia’s chase stumbled after a 56-run opening stand between captain Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short, with Chahal taking 3-25 to be named man of the match.
After being on the bench at the start, Chahal was brought in as a concussion replacement for Ravindra Jadeja at the change of innings.
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Jadeja top-edged a bouncer from Mitchell Starc into his helmet while batting in the final over of India’s innings, but did not receive an on-field assessment.
Under ICC rules, a doctor does not have to come onto the field immediately but would have had to at the end of the over had the innings not concluded.
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India captain Virat Kohli said Jadeja was dizzy at the time, and remained that way at the end of the match.
Jadeja had sustained an apparent hamstring injury in the previous over, and was clearly struggling to run during his unbeaten 44 from 23 balls.
Australia’s argument, however, surrounded whether Chahal was a similar replacement, given that he is a legspinner who bats No. 11 and Jadeja is a finger-spinning allrounder.
Langer could be seen in a heated discussion with match referee, a former Australian test player, in the innings break, as Jadeja was replaced by Chahal.
“It has nothing to do with his hammy. I would like to look into whether it’s a like-for-like decision,” Australia allrounder Moises Henriques said. “The like-for-like is one is an allrounder and a gun fielder, and the other one is an out-and-out bowler who bats No. 11.”
Chahal then claimed the key first two wickets of Finch and Steve Smith before also removing Matt Wade late to open up Australia’s lower order.
The legspinner had Finch caught on the long-on boundary to a great diving catch, while Smith and Wade both fell on the sweep.
Finch had earlier looked dangerous for Australia, flying to 35 off 26 balls and hitting one big six off his pads off Mohammed Shami.
Australia had already rested Pat Cummins from the series, while Alex Carey was not selected on Friday but could return to open if Finch is ruled out.
Earlier, Henriques produced the best bowling of his international career, claiming 3-22 on a wicket he used to his advantage. His wickets included K.L. Rahul for 52 and Samson on 23, both caught in the deep on balls that held up slightly.
Starc took 2-34 for Australia.
The next two matches are Sunday and Tuesday in Sydney ahead of a four-match test series in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.