Arshdeep Singh returned to Team India’s playing XI for the second T20I against Sri Lanka on Thursday after missing the series opener. However, the young pacer made a horror comeback as he bowled as many as five no-balls in his two overs, giving away 37 runs at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Arshdeep, who was introduced into the attack in the second over of Sri Lanka’s innings, ended up bowling back-to-back three no-balls in the opening spell thus becoming the first Indian bowler to bowl a hat-trick of no balls in the shortest format of the game.
The left-arm pacer bowled his first no-ball on the penultimate delivery of the second over and followed it by a wide delivery. Arshdeep then got hit for a boundary on the next delivery, which was also deemed as a no-ball by the umpire. The southpaw once again repeated his mistake and overstepped for the third successive time and this time he was smashed for a maximum by Sri Lanka opener Mendis.
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Notably, Arshdeep sent down as many as five no-balls in the match to bag an unwanted record for the most number of no-balls by an India in T20 Internationals. It’s also the joint-highest by a bowler from a full-member nation, along with West Indies’ Keemo Paul.
Also, Arshdeep has taken his tally of no-balls in T20 Internationals to 14 thus surpassing Pakistan’s Hasan Ali (11) to go atop. West Indies bowlers Keemo Paul and Oshane Thomas have also bowled 11 each.
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Meanwhile, Umran Malik and Shivam Mavi also bowled a no-ball each to make it a total of 7 by India in an innings. With this, the Men in Blue levelled the records of Ireland (vs Oman), Afghanistan (vs Oman), and Sri Lanka (vs UAE) as a full-time member to concede the most number of no-balls in a T20I innings.
“You can have a good day, you can have a bad day, but you shouldn’t be moving away from the basics. For Arshdeep, in this situation, it is very difficult. In past as well he’s bowled no-balls,” India captain Hardik Pandya said at the post-match presentation.
“It is not about blaming him or to be too hard on him, but we know no-balls in any format is a crime.”
Talking about the match, India failed to chase a huge 207-run target and suffered a 16-run loss in the second T20I as Sri Lanka levelled the three-match series 1-1.
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