Virat Kohli (C) celebrates with teammates after winning the Test series between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Virat Kohli (C) celebrates with teammates after winning the Test series between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP

India skipper Virat Kohli has endorsed the new ICC rule on concussion substitutes, saying it makes total sense to replace a player in such situations during a Test match as signs of trauma from a body blow can show up late. "I think it should be an open choice to choose any kind of batter that you can," Kohli said. "You only have 15-16 people in the squad so you don't have more than 5 people to choose from and invariably 3 of them would be bowlers," he said.

"I don't think there is too much choice there. So whatever substitutes you have you choose from them. 4-5 substitutes is good enough to choose from." India won the two-match series against the West Indies 2-0 with a 257-run win in the second Test to top the points tally with 120 points in the ICC World Test Championships.

ICC's decision on concussion substitutes was introduced in men's and women's international cricket and first-class cricket worldwide from August 1. It was taken after a two-year trial in Australia's domestic cricket competition, the Sheffield Shield. Under the new ICC rule, a player who has been concussed either while batting, bowling or on the field, can be withdrawn from the game and be replaced subject to approval by the match referee.

On the fourth day of the second Test, the West Indies were forced to name Jermaine Blackwood as the concussion substitute for Darren Bravo after the batsman was stuck on the side of his helmet by a Jasprit Bumrah delivery in the last over on Day 3. Even though Bravo resumed his innings on the fourth day morning, he couldn't carry on for long as delayed concussion symptoms showed up and was forced to retire hurt on 23.

What is concussion substitute?

According to the concussion substitute rule, players who suffer concussions while playing can be replaced in their team’s playing XI. The rule also emphasis a ‘like-for-like’ replacement. A Times Now report says, according to ICC Cricket Operations boss Geoff Allardice, the match referees will determine who the concussion substitute is. Then the match-referee has the power to restrict a player from bowling in order for the replacement to be considered like-for-like.

For instance, if a pure batsman gets injured and replaced by an all-rounder then the match-referee has the power to restrict the all-rounder from bowling in the match. Because, the replacement was made against the batsman.

(Inputs from PTI)

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