Crossing the line is strictly forbidden in any field, but in sports, especially cricket, such acts carry huge costs, literally. Indian Women’s Cricket Team on March 27 bore the brunt of the same when it got knocked out of the World Cup because of the bowler’s digression beyond the permissible limit. In the last over thriller, India were on top when spinner Deepti Sharma had South Africa batter Mignon du Preez caught at mid-on when the latter required three of two deliveries. But Sharma’s heel was found in line with the bowling crease, and the umpire ruled it as a no ball.
Thanks to the aforesaid breach, India lost the match and failed to secure a Semi-Final spot in the quadrennial event. However, this was not a one-off incident in Indian cricket as male cricketers have also suffered as a result of indiscipline on the part of bowlers. So, here are some of the instances in the Indian Men’s cricket team when no balls turned out to be highly critical to the outcomes of the matches.
Ravi Ashwin & Hardik Pandya (India VS West Indies) 2016 T-20 WC
In the Semi-Final of the 2016 T-20 World Cup, India bowled not just one but two no balls, which influenced the outcome of the game in a big manner. After posting 190/2 India were firm favourites to grab the game when they sent both Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels back to the hut inside the first six overs. However, it eventually turned out to be the day of Lendl Symmonds, who was twice let off by the indiscipline of the Indian bowlers. First, R Ashwin had Symmonds caught at short third man by Bumrah, when the West Indian was on 18, only to find the Indian offie overstepping the bowling crease. Then, later on, Hardik Pandya’s foot was also found over the line when Symmonds played a full toss straight into the hands of Ashwin. Resultantly, Symmonds remained unbeaten on 82 and the Windies won the all-important knockout game against India.
Jasprit Bumrah (India VS Pakistan) 2017 Champions Trophy Final
Both India and Pakistan were locked in the battle to secure a major ICC Trophy, the Champions Trophy, in 2017 and considering the batting depth of the Indian lineup everyone predicted a walkover by the “Men In Blue”. However, when India put Pakistan in after winning the toss, the script did not move as per the wishes of the Indian fans. Pak openers Fakar Zaman and Azhar Ali started cautiously and India had the opportunity to send back Zaman off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah when the former was caught behind but the Gujarat pacer had breached his bowling crease. Interestingly, Zaman was on 3 when the incident happened and courtesy of the reprieve he went on to score 114 for Pakistan and helped his team post a mammoth 338 in the process. In reply, India could only manage 158 and lost the final by a big margin.
Yuzhvendra Chahal (India VS South Africa) 2018 Bilateral ODI Series
Indians were on the cusp of creating history as they beat Proteas thrice in a row in the 2018 ODI series and were well on course to a victory in the fourth ODI as well to secure an ODI series in the Rainbow nation for the first time. After posting a competitive total of 290, India were in the driver’s seat as they snapped up Aiden Makram, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy in quick time. Later on, India also sent back the dangerous AB DeVilliers and the match was firmly in the grips of the “Men In Blue” when David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen came to the crease. Following this Yuzhvendra Chahal was brought into the attack and he bowled a beauty to disturb the timber of Miller. However, the delivery was ruled as a no ball as Chahal had crossed the bowling crease while delivering the ball. The no ball proved to be a turning point for Proteas in the game as both the batters stitched a useful partnership to turn the match on its head.