Who is Arshdeep Singh and why is he in the India squad?

In May 2022, Punjab King’s Arshdeep Singh has earned his maiden India call-up for T20I series against South Africa followed by inclusion in Team India T20I squad for two match series against Ireland in June 2022.

Arshdeep came into limelight when Punjab Kings picked him at Dec 2018 players Auction for IPL 2019 season. Since then, Arshdeep has become integral part of the franchise and they retained Arshdeep in IPL 2022 ahead of Mega auction. What makes Arshdeep so important player to get retained by the franchise & India call up?

Let the numbers do the talking:

Arshdeep Singh started playing cricket at the age of 13. Born in Madhya Pradesh (on 5th Feb 1999), Arshdeep is Left arm Medium fast bowler. He has represented Punjab & Chandigarh at district level.

In Oct 2017, U19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy (Limited overs) – Arshdeep Claimed 13 wickets in just 4 innings (which included 4 and 5 wicket haul each) with an economy of 3.48 and was the 2nd highest wicket taker of the tournament. Also, Arshdeep claimed 19 wickets for Chandigarh in Inter district ODI Championship DP Azad Trophy in 2017.

Dec 2017, Arshdeep represented India Red team in U19 Challenger Trophy claiming 7 wickets in 4 innings at an economy of 5.09 which included one 5 wicket haul that earned him lots of praises.

In Jan-Feb 2018, Arshdeep was a part of U23 Men’s ODI series in which he claimed 8 wickets in 3 innings at an economy of 5.44 which included one 4 wicket haul. Arshdeep’s highly impressive performances at Domestic circuit resulted into Team India call-up for U19 World cup in 2018 who won the triumph.

In the U19 WC 2018, match against Zimbabwe, Arshdeep took 2 wickets in 7 overs conceding only 10 runs at an economy of 1.42 which was the best of the tournament. Arshdeep played 3 out of 6 games, bagged 3 wickets at an average economy 4.1.

Arshdeep got his List A Debut in 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy for Punjab. In debut match against Himachal Pradesh, Arshdeep claimed 2 wickets in 9.3 overs at an economy of 5.36. In debut season, Arshdeep claimed total 6 wickets in 5 matches at an average economy of 5.09.

He played major role in taking wickets in powerplay for 50 & 20 over games as well as in death overs for T20 games.

In IPL 2019, in debut match against Rajasthan Royals he took 2 important wickets of Jos Buttler (in Power play) and Rahane using tactics of slower and short length ball. Arshdeep claimed just 3 wickets in 3 innings at an economy of 11.

Arshdeep made his debut in First class cricket in 2019-20 Ranji Trophy. He played in 3 matches, 4 innings claimed 9 wickets at an average economy of 2.93.

In IPL 2020, Arshdeep took 9 wickets in 8 matches majorly coming from his short length and slower balls in Power plays and death overs played crucial role.

Despite of Arshdeep’s average performances in successive two seasons Punjab Kings retained him ahead of 2021 season & Arshdeep repaid team’s trust by claiming 18 wickets in IPL 2021 season with an economy of 8.77 & was 2nd highest wicket taker for the team and 6th in overall season.

Arshdeep’s former teammate South African player Kagiso Rabada calls him “Best Death-over bowler in the competition”.

In IPL 2022, Arshdeep added 10 wickets in his bag in 14 games at an economy of 7.7. From Economy of

11.08 in 2019 season to economy 7.7 in 2022 Arshdeep has shown improvements in his game and has become go-to bowler for the Punjab Kings.

Left arm pacers are rare breed and so Arshdeep Singh. Arshdeep has the skills of change of pace, bouncers and slower balls delivered with calm head and as they say pace is not everything when it comes to the fast bowling.

Bowling in death-overs in T20 games, bowlers and team cannot afford mistakes. Irrespective of no of wickets taken, bowler’s real value comes into the picture in death over where batters of opposition are in attacking mode to add up maximum runs as much as they can. But Arshdeep has accepted this challenge and played his cards well. Arshdeep has the 2nd best economy of 7.58 in death overs after Jasprit Bumrah with 7.38.

Indian fast bowling legend Zaheer Khan has opined that the current Indian team pace bowling attack while being excellent and top-notch, is missing the variation of a left-arm pace bowler, the inclusion of whom can do wonders for the already impressive Team India.

Left arm pacers are asset for any team which gives extra dimension to bowling attack making a better bowling unit overall. After Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan India had failed to find out proper left arm pacers.

This opportunity was given to Jaydev Unadkat, Khaleel Ahmed in the recent past but they could not hold their place for longer time. Afterwards, this opportunity was given to T Natarajan, making his Team India debut for all formats in Australia series but because of knee injuries he is not in the squad and team India is missing luxury of left arm pacers big time.

If India is looking to groom left-hand pace bowler, then Arshdeep might just be the best option considering he is still in his early twenties and has been highly impressive in very less amount of matches. Arshdeep poses a unique skill set that makes him formidable bowler in the death overs of T20 games. And so, he deserves to be in Team India. Kapil Dev and Virat Kohli have been Arshdeep’s inspiration for playing cricket.

Still waiting for Team India Debut:

In November 2019, he was named in India’s squad for the 2019 ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

In 2021, India-A team on tour to Sri Lanka was accompanied by net bowlers and Arshdeep was one of the net bowlers. Later for the last match, Arshdeep was added into the main squad as few of the team players found Covid Positive. But Arshdeep did not get an opportunity to be a part of playing 11.

In May 2022 Arshdeep’s name was announced for T20I home series against South Africa. Later in May 2022, Arshdeep’s name was announced for T20I series against Ireland followed by his inclusion in squad for T20I series against England in July 2022. But Arshdeep is yet to make his Team India debut. Hoping for his most awaited Team India debut in upcoming T20I series against England.

About the Author

Jayashree Sangle is a Mumbai based graduate Civil Engineer currently working as an Assistant QA/QC Manager with a UK Based Construction company. She is a fitness enthusiast, apart from regular weight training in the gym she practice Mallakhamb, Aerial silks, Yoga etc. and her circle knows her as a big cricket nut. She follow International as well as Domestic cricket. Being a cricket enthusiast, she plan to join any corporate cricket club in near future.

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