A member of India’s U-19 squad that lifted the World Cup in 2018, Arshdeep Singh has come a long way to become a part of the senior Indian team.
Playing for Punjab Kings (PBKS), the left-arm pacer has impressed one and all with his performances in the last few IPL seasons. However, it was his performance in the 2022 edition that hogged the headlines.
Arshdeep featured in all 14 league matches for PBKS, picking 10 wickets at an economy rate of 7.70. In particular, his ability to nail yorkers in the death overs left the cricket fraternity in awe.
Thanks to his IPL exploits, the 23-year-old recently earned his call-up to the senior Indian team for the upcoming T20I series against South Africa, starting June 9 in Delhi.
Last year, Arshdeep was named in India's squad as a net bowler for the series against Sri Lanka in July. After some positive COVID-19 cases within the camp, he was added to the main squad, but he is still waiting to make his debut.
With senior pacers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami being rested, the Punjab lad is likely to receive his India cap in the T20I series against South Africa.
Ahead of the series, Arshdeep Singh interacted with Ms. Ishan Yadav Mahal, Digital Head of Circle of Cricket, and he opened up on his immediate feelings after being named in the T20I squad, the art of bowling yorkers, among other things.
Here’s the excerpt of the interview:
Q: Congratulations Arshdeep on your call-up to Team India. How did it feel when you heard the news and has it sunk in now that you will be wearing the India blues?
A: First of all, thank you. It was a great feeling and I was ecstatic just like any youngster when he starts his cricketing journey, he thinks about representing the country. I am feeling lucky and grateful to have got this opportunity and looking forward to playing in the Indian team.
Q: You were part of the Indian contingent last year for the Sri Lanka tour, was there something that the coach Rahul Dravid asked you to work on?
A: It was a really nice feeling when I had travelled with the team as a net bowler. Rahul Sir didn’t specifically tell me to work on something but he had said that consistency matters a lot at the highest level. So, I am focusing on to stay more consistent.
Q: You will be playing under the leadership of KL Rahul once again, will that help you to perform better in the SA T20I series?
A: The bonding has been great with KL bhai right from the beginning. He always backs his bowlers and I am looking forward to play under him and do well for the team.
Q: The way you nailed your yorkers almost every time this IPL season was exemplary. How much hard work goes behind executing them so well under pressure?
A: Repetition matters a lot when it comes to nailing yorkers. If you are repeating it time and again in the practice session, then you get used to it. It is important to get the feel of yorkers and this only comes with repeated practice and clarity of mind is also a big factor. So, I guess these two aspects are helping me.
Q: Many fans can't wait to see you form a partnership with Jasprit Bumrah for India. Do you study how he approaches the slog overs?
A: Jasprit bhai has that perfection while bowling in the death or upfront. The consistency with which he has performed for his country and his franchise, my aim will be to learn as much as possible from him. I will try to pick his brain as how he handles the pressure situation when things don’t go his way and what his frame of mind is like.
Q: Punjab Kings had a star-studded squad this season but fell just short of a playoff spot. Was it just luck or you felt something could have been done better as a group?
A: Punjab Kings played attacking and aggressive brand of cricket this year. People enjoyed it and so did we. I guess, if one or two results had gone in our favour especially in the crunch situation when we couldn’t finish the chase or couldn’t take a wicket in crunch time, then the outcome would’ve been different. But as a player as a team, we enjoyed our cricket a lot, registered some dominating wins. In the future, we will try to play the same brand of cricket and produce good results for the team.
Q: Lastly, have your thighs recovered from all the 'thigh fives' with Shikhar Dhawan and Harpreet Brar?
A: We Punjabis love to enjoy and celebrate. So, never felt fatigue or needed a recovery. They have become more stronger now even Brar would agree. But it was a great experience with Shikhar paaji on and off the field. We learned a lot. More thigh fives coming your way next season.