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T20 World Cup 2022 – Ind vs Pak – ‘Arshdeep Singh’s temperament is brilliant’

It was Arshdeep Singh’s first ball in any format World Cup against Pakistan in a full MCG, and he had the money right away. Babar Azam, one of the best in the world, was stuck in the front with one that swung in.

It didn’t end there for Arshdeep. He finished the evening 3 for 32, with Mohammad Rizwan and Asif Ali both falling for the well-aimed short ball.

“He’s a young boy – only 21-22″ [23] — and in the last three years I’ve seen him transform into a very mature bowler,” Anil Kumble said on ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out program. “And he can handle the pressure; his temperament is brilliant, we’ve seen that. Even when that catch was made in the Asian Cup, he came back and bowled really well.”
The dropped catch Kumble referred to came against Pakistan in the Asian Cup Super Four stage last month, when Arshdeep dropped Asif in the 18th over, while Pakistan still needed 31 from 16 balls. Asif still had to score at that stage and brought the comparison down to seven of six deliveries. Arshdeep was called up to throw over the final and took the game to the penultimate ball, including sacking Asif on the fourth pitch. But Pakistan won an exciting match.

“To have a wicket of your first ball” [at the MCG] – that too from Babar Azam – was fantastic,” said Kumble. “He got three main hitters from Pakistan – Rizwan, Azam and Asif. I thought it was brilliant, the way he bowled and he kept his nerves in check.”

Stephen Fleming also said he was “really impressed with Arshdeep’s temperament”.

“A hundred thousand people at the MCG, and you come in with your first ball on the money,” Fleming said. “It was a great start for him and for India. So his temperament – I’ve seen it first hand in the IPL – [and] his ability to take the pressure at death…today it was right at the beginning.”

Kumble, who is Arshdeep’s coach and has seen his development with Punjab Kings in the IPL, also spoke about how he has added new weapons to his arsenal.

“Initially he had lost the ball when he came back in [to the right-hander]’ said Kumble. ‘I thought Damien Wright, who was the bowling coach? [at Kings], worked on him. He [Wright] had also worked with Trent Boult when he was the New Zealand coach, and I am very pleased that Arshdeep not only gets the ball back in the right-hander, but also takes the ball away. When you see it, it’s not just the corner, but he swings the ball away, which is a real bonus for Arshdeep.”

Pakistan’s innings against India finished on 159, and Arshdeep said before India started their chase – which went to the last ball before India deserved the win – that he just wanted to make his World Cup debut memorable.

“I just wanted to enjoy the moment. I don’t think it will ever come again, so I just wanted to enjoy and have fun,” he told Star Sports. “We wanted to take advantage of the long square boundaries, so the plan was to hit the wickets and the pads. I think we’ll do our best and chase this.”

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