Arshdeep Emerges as Contender for Second-Seamer Role at T20 World Cup

Arshdeep is in contention to the play the World Cup. (Source:

As India’s players prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup, the focus naturally gravitates towards established stars like Jasprit Bumrah, rightfully acknowledged as one of the world’s premier fast bowlers and undoubtedly India’s best at the moment. However, amid the fervent discussions about team composition and strategies, one name deserving closer attention is Arshdeep Singh.

Arshdeep, the 25-year-old left-arm seamer from Punjab, has quietly been making a compelling case for himself as India’s second seamer in the World Cup lineup. While Bumrah’s presence is formidable, having a reliable partner at the opposite end could significantly bolster India’s attack.

Over the past two years, Arshdeep has been a consistent member of the national squad. However, leading up to the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), his performance with the new ball had been rather average, yielding just two wickets in four matches. His average during the powerplay overs stood at 33.5, and his proficiency in taking early wickets seemed to have waned.

He needed to regain his momentum. And that’s precisely what he accomplished with his stellar display in the powerplay against SRH. Not only did he excel in this phase of the game, but he also managed to secure two crucial wickets in the death overs, a feat that would surely please the Indian selectors. Arshdeep consistently hit the right lengths and troubled the SRH openers with his well-directed deliveries. In the slog overs, he relied on changes of pace and yorkers to inflict damage. 

He attempted to replicate the same strategy in the game against Rajasthan Royals (RR). At the same venue, Arshdeep found some early swing with the new ball, but without any luck. He couldn’t pick up a wicket in his two-over opening spell, but the way he challenged both edges of the left-handed and right-handed batters was promising to see.

There’s much more to Arshdeep’s bowling than just early swing with the new ball and yorkers. The dismissal of the in-form Riyan Parag was a testament to his strategy. Arshdeep meticulously planned that wicket with a slower ball bowled at 120 km/hr, exploiting the large square boundaries. Although Shimron Hetmyer’s power-hitting overshadowed his efforts at the end, Arshdeep has shown enough in the last two games to suggest that he’s back to his best.

What sets him apart is not just his ability to generate pace and extract bounce from the pitch, but also his cricketing intelligence and solid temperament to deliver under pressure. Despite his relatively young age and limited international exposure, Arshdeep has consistently demonstrated maturity beyond his years, often thriving in high-pressure situations.

One of his most appealing attributes is his versatility. Equally adept at bowling in the powerplay, middle overs, and at the death, he possesses the rare ability to adapt his bowling style according to the demands of the situation.

When Arshdeep was selected for the Indian team in 2022, there was a wave of excitement surrounding him. This was primarily because India had been seeking a left-arm pacer for a long time, and also due to the impact he had made for Punjab Kings in the IPL. Despite consistent issues with bowling no-balls, Arshdeep was widely regarded as one of the most promising discoveries in recent times. Now, he appears to have overcome the no-ball issue, which can drive most coaches to distraction.

He has featured in the highest number of T20Is for India since the last World Cup and possesses all the qualities to become the team’s second paceman. He has the ability to swing the new ball and can effectively mix slower deliveries with yorkers during the death overs, making him a complete package.

If the square boundaries are large, then he will bowl into the wicket, much like he did on Saturday night to outfox Parag with the slower delivery. His approach isn’t overly complex. It’s about consistently executing the basics. By doing so with precision, he has propelled himself back into World Cup contention. If he maintains this level of intensity, at the very least, he’ll earn a ticket to the USA and the Caribbean.