Arshdeep Singh breaks 16-year-old record, becomes first Indian bowler to bowl a maiden on T20I debut

Arshdeep Singh had a dream start to his international career against England on Thursday. The yongster tested Jason Roy and almost got his man on the last ball of the over after his LBW appeal was turned down as it was going down the leg.

Arshdeep Singh also broke a 16-year-old record. He became the first Indian bowler to bowl a maiden in their debut T20I over since 2006, when Jhulan Goswami and Ajit Agarkar did it in India’s first women’s T20I (vs England at Derby, August 2006) and first men’s T20I (vs south Africa at Johannesburg, December 2006).

Arshdeep returned with an impressive spell of 2 for 18 in India’s thumping 50-run win over England at Southampton. He got the wickets of Reece Topley and Matt Parkinson to cap a commanding win for India.

After his impressive outing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the 23-year-was been included in the 18-member squad for the upcoming five-match T20I home series against South Africa.

After his excellent first over Arshdeep Singh is getting praise from the cricketing community, but this is not the first time, he has left avery in awe with his craft. Bowling in the death-overs in T20 cricket leaves no margin for error. But Arshdeep Singh relishes the challenge of delivering the most difficult overs of a match. His Punjab Kings teammate Kagiso Rabada, a South African star, calls him the “best death-over bowler in the competition”. His captain Mayank Agarwal made him the “leader of the bowling group”. His childhood coach Jaswant Rai says his ward is a “quick learner.”

Arshdeep bagged only 10 wickets in 14 IPL games but his real value comes when batsmen put pedal to metal in the last phase of the innings. Arshdeep Singh has the second-best death-overs economy rate (7.58) of any bowler with at least eight overs this season. Only the Test-capped Jasprit Bumrah (7.38) has done better.

Arshdeep has shown that pace is not everything in T20 cricket. It is not that he can’t bowl at 140 kmph. Though not an express quick, he managed to outsmart some of the cleanest strikers of the game.

“I do plan specifically about the batsmen, their strengths and weaknesses. But pre-match planning does not always work. A lot depends upon the wicket; also movement. Is it a hit-the-deck kind of surface, or is it on the slower side? Cross seam will work or do I have to nail those yorkers? A lot also depends on the ground dimensions,” he had told Indian Express.

“Adaptability is a key in T20 cricket. Never bowl to the strong area of any batters. If he wants to hit a six, let him hit on the bigger side of the ground. Even if I concede runs, I execute my plans. It has worked for me, and it has given me results. As far as I am concerned I back my strengths, instead of thinking about the reputation of any batter,” Arshdeep had said.

India will play the second T20I against England in Birmingham on Saturday.

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