After his heroics helped India win once again on Wednesday, Arshdeep Singh’s pinpoint yorkers and ability to swing the ball both ways have won him admirers from across the border in Pakistan.
The young pacer took two wickets against Bangladesh and bowled a remarkable last over under pressure to ensure India returned with maximum points from Adelaide and inched closer to the semifinals. And the Pakistani cricket legends from Pakistan couldn’t stop gushing over Arshdeep’s skills.
In a panel discussion on A Sports, ex Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said he’d seen Arshdeep’s ‘talent’ alongwith his former teammate Waqar Younis at the Asia Cup earlier this year and predicted a ‘bright future’ for him.
“Waqar and I saw his talent at Asia Cup, the way he swings the ball both ways. I had heard good things about him, that he had bowled well in the IPL but he has got a bright future in front of him,” Akram told the channel. “He is a sensible bowler, has a good yorker, good slower one and most importantly, swings the new ball both ways. The two wickets he took in one over, giving away just two runs, turned around the match.”
Shoaib Malik was impressed by the fact that despite being chastised on social media after he dropped a catch against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, Arshdeep showed the mental strength and courage to keep fighting.
“In Asia Cup, he gave away runs during crunch situations. He missed a crucial catch or two as well. But he didn’t lose his confidence, that’s what’s matters,” Malik said. Akram interjected: “It was blown up on social media in India but he said it didn’t bother him. This attitude is very important.”
Malik responded: “The credit goes to the management and the captain that they backed him. They know he is their guy; he will give away runs, he will drop catches but he is their best player and will back him. Look at the results.”
Younis said Arshdeep’s ability to bowl 140+ made him a ‘handy cricketer’, adding that he would soon be picked for Test matches as well. Misbah-ul-Haq and Malik, meanwhile, praised the Indian pacer’s game sense.
While analysing the last over, of which Bangladesh needed 20 overs to win, the Pakistani duo said Arshdeep showed presence of mind to course correct after a good-length ball he bowled was dispatched to the fence early in the over.
“He bowled one good length and realised they are being hit because the boundaries on both sides were short. So he realised that only full bowls will save him in that scenario…” Malik said.
Misbah added: “We saw in Asia Cup that when he tries something different then it’s a problem but his wicket-taking yorkers are quite solid in the end overs. The way he controls the new ball is great but even better is the way he bowls a yorker straight at stumps in the end overs.”