Indian captain Virat Kohli has admitted there were “no plans” to play eventual Man of the Match Yuzvendra Chahal in the opening T20, before he was substituted into the game.
Chahal was brought into the game as a concussion substitute for all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja after Jadeja received a knock to the head during the final over of India’s batting innings.
The leg-spinning Chahal provided an instant impact for India, picking up the key wickets of Aaron Finch, Steve Smith and Matthew Wade as he finished with 3-25 off four overs.
Following the match, Kohli conceded that concussion substitutes were “strange”, but praised the performance of his star spinner.
“There were no plans of him being in the game. Jaddu got a knock in the last over in the side of the head and he was a bit dizzy, and still is,” he told Fox Cricket.
“Concussion replacements, they’re a strange thing. Today it worked for us maybe another day we wouldn’t have found a like-for-like (replacement), who knows.
“He still came in and bowled really well. As he said he had no pressure and he was stepping in and just had to bowl at the right spots and the pitch offered him enough to trouble the batsmen
“All in all I think we showed character to fight back in the game and really squeezed the opposition when the pressure was on.”
Chahal said he relished being able to bowl after not being able to partake in the batting innings, revealing when he found out he was going to replace Jadeja.
“This is a great feeling, especially when there is no pressure while we are batting,” he said.
“Suddenly I got to know I was going to play, but obviously I have played so many matches so I was mentally fit.
“10 to 15 minutes before (Australia’s innings) I got to know that I might be able to play because of some rule, so then I came to the ground and warmed up myself.”