India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey on Wednesday admitted that he was impressed with young left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh’s ability to handle pressure in crunch moments of the game, terming it “phenomenal”.
In India’s T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan at a sell-out Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, Arshdeep took 3/32 in his four overs, including trapping the opposition captain Babar Azam lbw on his first ball of the match, followed by taking out Mohammad Rizwan and Asif Ali with short balls.
“If you follow him (Arshdeep) for the last couple of years and you look at the way he’s performed, one thing that really stands out with the kid is his ability to bear pressure. He does the hard work in the IPL, he does different things as per the phases he bowls, that is the power-play and death overs. The composure and clarity of thought processes he’s shown, he’s a great kid,” said Mhambrey in the pre-match press conference ahead of India’s second Super 12 match against the Netherlands on Thursday.
Arshdeep’s spell, along with Hardik Pandya’s 3/30, were instrumental for India to keep Pakistan to 159/ 8, which they eventually chased down off the last ball in thrilling fashion. He also became the first bowler to dismiss Pakistan’s prolific opening pair of Azam and Rizwan for single digit scores in the same innings.
“There’s a phase he will go through, there will be ups and downs in his career, but the way he’s come back (after being viciously trolled for dropping a catch against Pakistan in Asia Cup), the clarity he’s shown and ability to handle pressure, is phenomenal. I am not really surprised with the way he’s bowled, in the first game as well. So, we have a lot of confidence in him and he has a good future for us,” added Mhambrey.
With the ongoing tournament being Arshdeep’s first instance of playing competitive cricket in Australia, Mhambrey credited him for soaking in vital bits of information about playing in the country from senior pacers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami, who have featured in various matches here while on previous tours.
“It starts with a lot of discussion. He is a kind of a guy who likes to talk a lot. He had a chat with other senior players and discusses a lot with players like Bhuvi and Shami as well because those guys have played out here (in Australia). It is kind of a learning that he has taken and tried to implement in his game.
“I will give that credit to him as well, having a chat and understanding what is required. But to be able to go out there and execute and do it yourself, the individual skills come in. In that sense, I will give the credit to him,” he concluded.