Kings XI Punjab bowler Arshdeep Singh celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma during their Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket match.(PTI)
Kings XI Punjab bowler Arshdeep Singh celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma during their Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket match.(PTI)

IPL 2020: ‘Free mind, free spirit’, Chris Jordan pat for young KXIP pacer Arshdeep Singh

The tall Punjab youngster took three wickets, including two in the final over, to help KXIP pull off a vital win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday
By Shalini Gupta | Hindustan Times, Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2020 09:45 AM IST

Young Arshdeep Singh’s father Darshan Singh doesn’t miss a single IPL game, especially those of Kings XI Punjab. On Saturday, Darshan, who himself was an aspiring fast bowler, was elated to see his 21-year-old son bowl superbly and help his team clinch a dramatic 12-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai.

“He has been bowling well and mixing up his deliveries. He has worked hard on his bowling and fitness in recent months. He should make most of the chances and shine,” Darshan said.

Arshdeep, a 6’3” left-arm fast bowler from Chandigarh, kept his cool to trip up SRH in the final stages of a low-scoring game, taking two wickets in the final over.

Darshan worked with the Central Industrial Security Force, which meant constant transfers and posting to different states. To provide Arshdeep with the best training facilities, he quit the job in 2013. Since then his priority has been his son’s cricket. “He is learning a lot under Mohammed Shami. When you play alongside such bowlers, you learn a lot,” Darshan said.

“IPL exposure will help in his grooming. I could not play for my state due to professional duties but I want my son to not only play for Punjab but also for India.”

Arshdeep, a member of India’s 2018 U-19 World Cup winning team, bagged the wickets of Vijay Shankar, Priyam Garg and Sandeep Sharma, conceding only 23 runs, bowling brilliantly in tandem with Chris Jordan.

SRH needed 14 runs off the 20th over bowled by Arshdeep, but managed to score one run. Arshdeep took two wickets to set up KXIP’s fourth straight win, which keeps the franchise in the hunt for a playoff berth.

Arshdeep was bought by Kings XI last season but got only three games. “He has improved so much in the last one year. I was with him during a training camp ahead of IPL where he impressed me with talent and mindset.

“He is a thinking bowler who bowls the new ball with pace and slower ones in the death overs. He troubled Vijay Shankar with slower ones and eventually got his wicket. We had worked on his slower bouncers in the camp,” said former pacer Manpreet Gony, who expects Arshdeep to be in line to make his Ranji Trophy debut this season. Arshdeep has played T20 and one-day cricket for Punjab.

As a left-arm fast bowler, his development can give the India team management options going forward.

“There was Zaheer khan, Irfan Pathan, and Barinder Sran was also there for some time. India needs to develop a quality left-arm fast bowler. IPL has always provided a platform to new talent. Arshdeep should be seen as a potential top-level bowler and groomed,” said Gony, who will play in the Sri Lankan T20 League next month.

In six matches in IPL 2020, Arshdeep has taken nine wickets with his best coming against SRH.

“Arshdeep has been brilliant since he’s come in; he’s brought in a free mind, free spirit. He’s not that experienced and I think that’s helped because he’s just backed himself,” said England all-rounder Chris Jordan, whose three wickets to trigger the SRH batting collapse.

With Arshdeep showing rich promise to a pace line-up led by Shami and Jordan, the KL Rahul-led team can eye more wins in the business end of the league stage.

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