Rise of Arshdeep big plus for India

Arshdeep Singh for India
Arshdeep Singh for India (PC: Debasis Sen)

In a pace attack featuring Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Mohammad Siraj, his presence gets overlooked. He doesn’t grab the headlines as often as the others do. His success is not usually noticed, and failure gets highlighted. But with his skills and effectiveness, Arshdeep Singh has become an integral part of India’s T20 set-up.

It works in the team’s favour that this left-armer is not always treated as the main threat by the opposition batters either. Most of their homework and strategising centre around Bumrah and others. Silently, Arshdeep does the damage and walks off without getting the credit. This does no harm to the team’s cause at all. Rather, it makes him a secret weapon.

It’s no secret, however, that Arshdeep is one of the most skilled fast bowlers in India. He is not express, but has just about enough pace to hurry batters. He can make the ball move both ways, is good with the yorker and the short-pitched delivery. This makes him effective at both ends of an innings. The USA match was a perfect example, where he brought all these traits into play.

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Arshdeep Singh vs USA
Arshdeep Singh vs USA (PC: Debasis Sen)

Credit goes also to the selectors and team management for persisting with him in the shortest format. Amid all the uncertainty due to workload management and fitness problems, the bowler from Punjab has been a constant in T20Is. Rather quietly, he has played 47 matches and 69 wickets from those is no joke. He has repaid the faith.

The best part is this has happened without actually ever drawing attention. When one talks about the Indian attack, Arshdeep is perhaps the last name discussed. In that sense, he is possibly not the most marketable name. He is no poster boy. You don’t see him in adverts very often. But the team understands his utility. Going at the rate he is, Arshdeep will become indispensable in the shorter formats sooner rather than later.

Contrary to perception, bowling a yorker does not necessarily mean uprooting the middle stump. It’s about landing the ball in the block hole, which changes according to the position of the batter. Arshdeep has this ability to find it when he chooses to. It’s risky because the margin for error is thin. Remarkably, he does not usually get it wrong. It may not fetch a wicket all the time, but in a T20 match, a dot ball or just a leg-bye can be crucial when it comes to containinment.

Arshdeep does that and also takes wickets at a fairly high frequency. His performance (4-0-9-4) against the USA was exceptional and it will not happen every day. Yet, if he can produce even three-fourth of it on a consistent basis, he will be tough to negotiate. For an attack which has lost Shami for good, in all likelihood, this is welcome news. He will complement Bumrah and enrich this bowling unit. For a team trying to end a World Cup drought, nothing could have been better.

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