Mohammad Siraj.
Mohammad Siraj. Image Credit: X

The former India batter Sunil Gavaskar has slammed pacer Mohammad Siraj with an ‘unprofessional’ tag for bowling no-balls at the crucial juncture of the game, during the India-Pakistan clash on June 10, at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, in New York, where the blue brigade earned a six-run win over the opponents.

Batting first under the over-cast conditions, India started decently before losing both their openers Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli on successive occasions. Axar Patel recovered them from the early problem, while Rishabh Pant kept on showing his aggressive brand of cricket.

From a strong and dominating position of three down for 89 runs in 11 overs, India lost the plot and were bundled out for 119 runs, and missed out from playing six balls of their first innings. However, Mohammad Siraj and Arshdeep Singh did one thing quite well, as they ran three doubles in the last over of the innings, which added six runs to the score, and ended up being the difference between the two teams.

‘Wide balls are not always in your control but no-ball is’ – Sunil Gavaskar on Mohammad Siraj

In the 120-run chase, every single Indian bowler needed to bowl with the same energy and belief, hitting the right line and length to exact help off the surface. Mohammad Siraj was introduced in the second over of the innings and was belted on his full delivery for a boundary. From that moment, he didn’t bowl a single delivery up to the batters.

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Most of the balls from Hyderabad-born were pulled back and created pressure on the bowlers, with awkward lines and lengths. The first ball of his second over gave a chance but a tough one as Babar didn’t get the time right and almost chipped the ball back to the bowler which Mohammad Siraj failed to grab, thanks to its speed.

But he gave away only two runs of that over as suddenly the pressure started to mount over the two opening batters. The Pakistan captain tried to do something weird and got an edge to the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah which ended in the hands of the lone slip fielder, Suryakumar Yadav.

Siraj came back again for his third over during the seventh over of the innings and gave only three singles. What he did accurately in that over was not trying anything special and looked to bowl in the same channel with the stump-to-stump line.

0/10 in his three overs helped India to create more pressure on the Pakistan batters. He was called back for the 18th over, as the opponent required 30 runs in three overs. The second ball of the over from Mohammad Siraj was a no-ball, as the former India opener Sunil Gavaskar, who was present in the commentary box at the moment got heated up.

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‘Unforgivable. Professional cricketers, whatever you are, you cannot bowl a no-ball. It is in your control. Wide balls are not always in your control but no-ball is. Unprofessional, and unacceptable at this level. No excuses whatsoever,” An irritated Sunil Gavaskar said on air.

The next three balls of the over from Mohammad Siraj went for a couple, and two back-to-back singles, as he followed it with a wide and two successive singles. Nine runs came of the over, as he finished his four-over quota for 0/19.

India went on to grab the victory by six-runs, to stay at the top position of the ‘Group A’ in the points table at a net run rate of +1.455. They will lock horns with USA next on June 12, at the same ground in New York.