India wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant suffered a concussion on Tuesday, January 14, after being hit on the helmet by a short ball from Pat Cummins, during the first ODI between India and Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
A social media update from the Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed the development and stated that Pant was “under observation”. In Pant’s absence, KL Rahul donned the wicketkeeping gloves for Australia’s chase of 256.
Pant suffered the blow that caused the concussion on the second ball of the 44th over from Cummins, which also brought about his dismissal. The fast bowler banged one into the pitch and the ball rushed onto Pant, who attempted to pull it, but instead got a top edge that smashed into the helmet before lobbing towards Ashton Turner at point.
Update: Rishabh Pant has got a concussion after being hit on his helmet while batting. KL Rahul is keeping wickets in his absence. Pant is under observation at the moment. #TeamIndia #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/JkVElMacQc
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 14, 2020
It wasn’t immediately apparent if Pant had been dismissed, as umpire C Shamshuddin remained unmoved amidst the appeals from the Australian fielders. The batsmen, meanwhile, tried to sneak a single, before the umpire adjudged Pant out.
The concussion became apparent when Pant did not come out to the field for India’s defence, with Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey substituting for him on the field. Concussion has become a touchy subject in cricket lately, especially since the unfortunate demise of Australian batsman Phil Hughes in 2014.
The accident led to growing calls within the cricketing fraternity, asking the International Cricket Council to allow the use of concussion substitutes, wherein a player who has suffered a concussion can be replaced by a like-for-like. The ICC approved the use of concussion substitutes in July 2019, with the rule being applied for all international matches starting from August 1.
Marnus Labuschagne became cricket’s first ever concussion substitute, when he took the place of Steve Smith in the second Test of the 2019 Ashes at Lord’s. Labuschagne, coincidentally, made his one-day international debut on Tuesday, earning a white-ball call-up on the back of his Test exploits since the day he came in for Smith.