Sunil Gavaskar has lambasted India players and Yuzvendra Chahal in particular for bowling a no ball that allowed David Miller to continue batting at the Wanderers in Johannesburg that kept the ODI series alive. The win allowed South Africa to stay in the hunt to ensure that the series could finish in a draw. He came down heavily on the wrist-spinner for his error that allowed Miller to bat on and make a difference in the final result – a win for South Africa by five wickets under the DLS method.
In a rain curtailed contest, Chahal had Miller clean bowled on 7 but had overstepped the mark. This allowed Miller to stay in the middle and add 32 runs to his total made all the difference in the end. “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. Till then, India seemed to be in control, they had also seen the back of AB de Villiers, who was batting well. When Miller was struggling to read Yuzvendra Chahal, India were certainly in the driver’s seat,” said Gavaskar in the post-match show.
“So clearly, I think there’s 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) Klaasen was outstanding, (Andile) Phehlukwayo came in and smashed it,” he added.
India were in a comfortable place when Chahal had clean bowled Miller and looked set for a 4-0 unbeatable score. But Man of the Match Heinrich Klaasen and Miller’s late counter-attacking batting helped South Africa chase down the reduced 202 run total (from the original 290 runs). A double strike by Kuldeep Yadav reduced South Africa to three wickets down before Hardik Pandya bagged the big wicket of AB de Villiers who was making a return to the series following a finger injury. All signs pointed towards an India win at this stage.
But a determined fightback from Klaasen (43*), Miller (39) and an explosive finish from Andile Phehlukwayo where he smacked 23 runs from five balls took South Africa to win with 15 balls to spare.
Gavaskar was even more critical that bowlers make an error with their run-ups and bowl no balls in this modern day and age.
“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,” said the 68-year-old.
“Fast bowlers can sometimes overstep. However, because its 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. They, after all, use a lot of tapes to measure from here to there (run-up distance) and then how does a no ball come through,” he further added.