Team India, after winning the first 3 ODIs against South Africa, went down in the 4th ODI in Johannesburg. After scoring a decent 289 batting first, the rain interruption curtailed South Africa’s target to 202 from 28 overs. The Men in Blue were firmly in control during the second innings as well until David Miller got a reprieve.
The left-hander was castled by Yuzvendra Chahal but the leg-spinner had overstepped and as a result, Miller was allowed to live another day. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and unleashed his hard-hitting on the Indian spinners. Heinrich Klassen and Andile Phehlukwayo also chipped in with useful contributions that took the hosts past the line.
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar was seemingly unpleased with the no-ball and said that Miller’s reprieve certainly proved to be the turning point. “For me, it was that no-ball, where David Miller was clean bowled and the way he recovered from it. That, for me, was the turning point,” said Gavaskar in the post-match analysis show on Sony Ten 1 on Saturday.
India and no-balls; a story that doesn’t find a closure
No-balls have been the undoing of India in the recent times in crucial situations. Ravichandran Ashwin had taken a wicket off a no-ball in the ICC World T20 semi-final against Windies that cost India the match. Jasprit Bumrah too had overstepped in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 against Pakistan as Fakhar Zaman went on to score three figures and ultimately, India lost the match.
Sunil Gavaskar pointed out that it’s almost criminal to bowl a no-ball these days as so much technology is involved in the game. Because no-ball results in a free hit in limited-overs cricket, even fast bowlers need to keep a check on it.
“I will be perfectly honest. In modern-day cricket, with all the technology available, nobody should be bowling no-balls. One can understand bowling a wide, down the leg side because that [wide rule] is a very strict interpretation. There should ideally bowl no wides on the offside also. Fast bowlers can sometimes overstep. However, because it’s 50-over cricket because there is a free hit after the no-ball, I don’t think fast-bowlers should also be bowling no-balls,” he added.
“So clearly, I think there’s a little bit of lack of professionalism there. Maybe a little bit of relaxation after the 3-0 situation and the South Africans took full advantage of it. They batted brilliantly after that, Miller batted brilliantly, [Heinrich] Klaassen was outstanding, [Andile] Phehlukwayo came in and smashed it,” Gavaskar added.