safari staff
07 Jan 2023 | 03:53 AM

'It's like bowling more than 21 overs,' Gautam Gambhir slams India bowlers

India bowled as many as seven no-balls in the second T20I against Sri Lanka with Arshdeep Singh accounting for five of those

India bowled as many as seven no-balls in the second T20 International (T20I) against Sri Lanka in Pune, that many believe cost them the game. Arshdeep Singh, who returned to the game after missing the Mumbai T20I through injury, bowled as many as three no-balls in his first over, giving away 19 runs and then returned to bowl two more in the penultimate over and conceded 18 runs in that.

To make matters worse for India, the other two pacers Shivam Mavi and Umran Malik too bowled a no-ball each. Former India opening batter Gautam Gambhir did not hold back as he was not pleased with the bowlers' lack of discipline.

"Imagine seven balls, it's like bowling more than 21 overs. Everyone bowls bad balls or plays bad shots but it's about the rhythm. If you are coming after an injury, you should not be playing an international game [referring to Arshdeep]," Gambhir said on Star Sports.

"You should be going to domestic cricket and getting your rhythm back because no-balls are not acceptable. Whoever is injured and there is a long layoff, he has to go back to domestic cricket, bowl 15-20 overs, come back and then play an international game, and that was squarely seen when Arshdeep Singh was struggling with his rhythm."

Gambhir felt that the bowlers often overstep during nets, which is why they repeat the mistakes in the matches too. He feels that the onus should be on the bowling coach to work on this given that this is not the first time Arshdeep overstepping has been an issue.

"As I just mentioned, you can have a shocker. Fielders can have a shocker, batters can play bad shots, bowlers can bowl those shocking deliveries but this thing is not acceptable. You might be doing it in the nets, during the practice sessions, that's the reason you do it in the match as well," Gambhir said.

"So it's up to the bowling coach to probably work on that as well because you have got to be harsh in the practice sessions. You just can't blame something else. Yes, it is tough for the captain to set fields. Seven no-balls and imagine conceding 30-odd runs in those seven balls was a massive difference."

India's indiscipline helped Sri Lanka put up 206 for 6 from their 20 overs. India struggled initially, but fifties from Suryakumar Yadav (51) and Axar Patel (65) helped them get close, but eventually fell short by 16 runs, helping the visitors level the series.

The decider is set to be played on Saturday (January 7) in Rajkot.

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