Rohit has heated argument with Nabi for stealing byes; Dravid defends AFG star | Crickit
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Rohit charges towards Nabi for stealing byes, has heated argument; India coach Dravid defends Afghanistan star

Jan 18, 2024 06:32 PM IST

Rohit Sharma was furious after Mohammad Nabi stole byes in the Super Over but India head coach Rahul Dravid sided with the Afghanistan all-rounder. Here's why

It's hard to pick one particular stand-out moment from the third and final T20I between India and Afghanistan. What was supposed to be a dead rubber, turned out to be a historical encounter where two Super Overs were needed to separate the two sides for the first time in the history of international cricket. India and Afghanistan finished with 212 each on the board in the allotted 20 overs and in the first Super Over, both teams got 16. It was only in the second Super Over that India emerged victorious. Also, the twin Super Overs wasn't the only talking point of the match. There were many instances - Rohit Sharma and Rinku Singh's record partnership, Gulbadin Naib's batting, Virat Kohli's fielding - at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday evening that amused the onlookers, and one of them was Mohammad Nabi's decision to run for byes despite the ball deflecting off his legs.

Rohit Sharma argues with Mohammad Nabi
Rohit Sharma argues with Mohammad Nabi

It was the last ball of the first Super Over in Afghanistan's innings. After conceding a six to Nabi in the previous ball, India pacer Mukesh Kumar came back well to execute the perfect wide yorker. Nabi failed to put bat to ball, non-striker Rahmanullah Gurbaz set off to steal a single. India wicketkeeper Sanju Samson collected the ball, and instead of holding on to it or having shy at the stumps, he, for some weird reason, decided to lob it back to the bowler with an underarm throw.

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The ball hit Nabi's leg before reaching Mukesh and deflected towards long-on. Generally, most batters don't run in such a situation. But Nabi thought otherwise. He not only scampered through for a second run but took a third seeing the Indians unaware of what was happening. Virat Kohli at long on did not even pick up the ball in the first instance and was seen gesturing that it hit Nabi's leg.

India captain Rohit was furious. He charged towards Nabi and hurled a mouthful. He kept arguing but the former Afghanistan captain was adamant. The runs stood legit and Afghanistan got two extra byes in the Super Over that stretched their total to 16.

This is where the spirit of the game debate once again comes into play. According to the laws of the game, Nabi did nothing wrong. He was running to the non-striker's end without having any idea where the ball was heading. He didn't change his path even for once. That the ball deflected off his leg was a pure case of destiny. Like it happened in the World Cup final with Ben Stokes.

One can always debate if the rule can be tweaked to shift the onus from players, like in the case of batters not offering a shot. A batter can't run even if the ball deflects off his body when he is not offering a shot. Can something similar be introduced in case of overthrows or even when the ball hits the stumps at the non-striker's end?

'Nothing that stops you from running those': Dravid defends Nabi

India head coach Rahul Dravid was asked about the same in the post-match press conference but the former India captain had no problems with what Nabi did. Dravid in fact said there was an Indian batter who did the same in the series previously.

"No, it's fine. It's part of the game. It can be frustrating if you are at the receiving end but it's okay, it happens. I think you can [run] for those. There was an incident in the first match where I think it hit the bat of one of our batters and we ran a run. Nothing in the rules that stops you from running those runs," he told reporters.

In the end, those two extra byes proved to be crucial as the first Super Over also ended in a tie. In the second Super Over, India got 11 and Afghanistan lost their two allotted wickets for just 1 run.

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