Team India fast bowler Arsdeep Singh found himself among the top trends on Twitter following his horrible display in the second T20I against Sri Lanka in Pune.

Arshdeep Singh, who didn’t feature in the first match of the three-game T20I series in Mumbai, made a forgettable return to action on Thursday as he gave away 37 runs in the two overs he bowled at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on the night.

Notably, Arshdeep Singh was playing his first match for India after more than a month, as his last fixture for the national team came in November against New Zealand.

During his disappointing outing, Arshdeep Singh went on to deliver 5 no-balls, making him the first Indian to achieve this bizarre feat. Previously, the record was held by Ishant Sharma, who had bowled three no-balls in a single T20I. He also became the first Indian bowler to produce three no-balls on the trot in a T2OI against the Dasun Shanaka-led team.

His dismal performance against Sri Lanka received strong reactions from netizens with many Team India supporters slamming him after the match which Hardik Pandya and his boys eventually lost by 16 runs.

Moreover, some called him a match-fixer and urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to investigate him for spot-fixing.


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Like the fans, India captain Hardik Pandya was extremely disappointed with Arshdeep’s showing in Pune. He even labeled the no-balls that he bowled with alarming regularity in the match a “crime”.

“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,” Hardik Pandya said at the post-match presentation.

“It is not about blaming him or being too hard on him, but we know no-balls in any format is a crime,” he added.

“In bowling and batting, the powerplay hurt us. We made some basic errors, which we shouldn’t be making at this level. Everyone knows what it is, the learning for us is we should be focussing on what we can control,” Hardik Pandya summed up.

Joining Hardik Pandya in slamming Arshdeep Singh were the legendary Sunil Gavaskar and 2011 World Cup winner Gautam Gambhir.

“As a professional, you can’t be doing this. We often hear that today’s players say, things aren’t in our control. Not bowling no ball is in your control. What happens after you deliver the ball, what the batsman does, is another thing. Not bowling a no ball is definitely in your control,” Sunil Gavaskar said on air while commentating about the match on Star Sports.

Unlike Sunil Gavaskar, Gautam Gambhir was much more scathing in his remarks made against the left-arm speedster.

“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,” Gautam Gambhir said.

“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,” he stated.

India head coach Rahul Dravid though backed the 23-year-old to come good in the coming days before suggesting that patience was key to avoid such circumstances.

“Nobody wants to bowl wides and no-balls in any format of the game, but especially in the T20 format of the game. The young kids will have games like this at times, and I think we all need to be patient with them, (but) we need to be understanding that games like this can’t happen. I think as they’re learning, it’s tough. It’s not easy learning in international cricket. You have to learn on the job. I think we’re going to have to have a little bit of patience with these guys,” Rahul Dravid said in his post-match press briefing.

The third and final T20I between India and Sri Lanka will be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Saturday.

Interestingly, a Sri Lanka win will secure their maiden T20I series victory over India as the islanders have never beaten the Men in Blue in bilaterals in the past.


India: Hardik Pandya (capt), Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Rahul Tripathi, Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh.

Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (capt), Pathun Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Hasaranga de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha and Dilshan Madushanka.