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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 05 March 2024

Arshdeep Singh hits the right spots, helps India to 4-1 T20I series win against Australia

Agreed, it wasn’t Australia’s best team, especially in the last two T20Is with some of those players not even having enough Big Bash League experience. Yet, that particular over from Arshdeep at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore has impressed people who matter in Indian cricket

Sayak Banerjee Calcutta Published 06.12.23, 09:19 AM
India’s young guns (from left) Arshdeep Singh, Rinku Singh and Jitesh Sharma duringa training session in Bangalore, in an Instagram Story shared on Tuesday

India’s young guns (from left) Arshdeep Singh, Rinku Singh and Jitesh Sharma duringa training session in Bangalore, in an Instagram Story shared on Tuesday

The start was disappointing, but not the finish.

In the first three games of the just-concluded T20I series against Australia, Arshdeep Singh was quite expensive and had a tough time on the field. Returning for the final game after being dropped for the penultimate one, the left-arm quick got his lengths right in the deciding over of the contest and defended 10 runs to help India to a 4-1 series win.

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Agreed, it wasn’t Australia’s best team, especially in the last two T20Is with some of those players not even having enough Big Bash League experience. Yet, that particular over from Arshdeep at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore has impressed people who matter in Indian cricket. And, that implies he’s in for a long run and stands a fair chance of finding a place in the squad for next year’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States.

Arshdeep had the task of keeping Matthew Wade at bay in the final over on Sunday. With not many runs to defend, it wasn’t at all easy. Particularly, as the Australian keeper-batter had earlier blasted Shaheen Shah Afridi for three successive maximums to earn his team a final berth with an over to spare in the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Not only did the 24-year-old Punjab left-arm pacer keep Wade quiet, but he also accounted for the Australia captain eventually taking India to victory. Importantly, Arshdeep was spot-on with his yorker-length delivery on that occasion, something he wasn’t able to do in the previous games of the series.

Of course, Deepak Chahar’s absence owing to a family emergency facilitated Arshdeep’s return to the XI for Sunday’s T20I. Yet, his overall record in the format and the experience of already having played a T20 World Cup (last year in Australia) certainly keeps Arshdeep in Team India’s scheme of things.

“The selectors will be backing Arshdeep. Whether he’ll feature in all the matches is obviously the team management’s call, but his place in the squad cannot be challenged. He did struggle in the first few matches against Australia, but his overall record in T20s cannot be ignored.

“Besides, he already has had the experience of playing a World Cup, where he didn’t fare badly. All in all, he’s a good bowler and the more he bowls, the quicker he’ll regain his rhythm,” a BCCI insider said on Tuesday.

Stock ball & inswinger

To be a finished product and establish himself as one of the leading pacers, Arshdeep needs to focus on a couple of aspects which Punjab Kings fast bowling coach Charl Langeveldt will most likely speak to him during IPL 2024.

“People are used to Arshdeep’s game plans now. So, he has to evolve. What he needs to do is execute the stock ball (one that surprises the batter) and look to swing it into the right-hander more in the Powerplay, and be consistent with it,” Langeveldt, also a former South Africa pacer, told The Telegraph.

At the death, Arshdeep should make sure he doesn’t overuse the slower ball, Langeveldt added. “He has got a good slower ball for the backend, but he tends to overuse it.

“So, the wide yorker can definitely be an option to have the better of the batsman.
The good thing about Arshdeep is his willingness to adapt and improve,” Langeveldt, who played six Tests, 72 ODIs and nine T20Is for the Proteas, said.

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