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T20 World Cup: Arshdeep to be an important factor in India-Afghanistan clash, says Robin Singh

IANS | June 20, 2024 02:46 PM

NEW DELHI: Robin Singh, the former India all-rounder, believes left-arm fast-bowler Arshdeep Singh could become an important factor for the side ahead of starting their 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup Super Eight campaign against Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados on Thursday night.

Since 2022, Arshdeep has been the find for India in T20Is, more so with the new ball. He picked ten wickets to be India’s leading wicket-taker in 2022 T20 World Cup. In the ongoing tournament, Arshdeep has been decisive with his left-arm angle and ability to move the ball both ways as well as produce a sharp bouncer, seen from his seven wickets in three games – four of which came against USA.

“I think Arshdeep will be important in the match, because especially in Barbados, where the wind is a factor. So, considering that he takes the ball in, as well as he takes the ball away from the right-handed batter as well as the left-hand batter, which makes him an important factor for sure in the match, ” said Robin in an exclusive conversation with IANS.

Another pleasing factor for India has been vice-captain Hardik Pandya rediscovering his bowling rhythm after a lacklustre IPL 2024, to take seven wickets in three games so far. Robin, who’s played 136 ODIs for India, thinks Hardik’s good bowling returns are a big plus for the Rohit Sharma-led side.

“I think (its good) on several accounts. One is personally, he is bowling close to his best. It's good to see him taking up wickets. More importantly, it's good to see him fitting into an Indian squad, where he makes a huge difference with the balance of the team and performing for the side. That is the main thing, as at the end of the day, you are playing for India. So, you need to go out there and give your best. I think he has stepped up to the plate.”

Having fast-bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah at the peak of his power also adds to India’s advantage, feels Robin. “It's almost like having an extra bowler in your side, if I may say so. So, it gives you that huge advantage. It also puts a fear among batsmen who are going to play against him.”

“So, it gives him that advantage as well. Importantly, he himself is a super confident guy. He is able to deliver at any given point in time. So, that is the most critical thing. I hope that he does the same for the tournament.”

In the bowling department, with Axar Patel doing an underrated but crucial job for India with both bat and ball, there’s pressure on Ravindra Jadeja to step up in Super Eights. Robin signed off by expressing confidence over Jadeja coming good in the decisive phase of the competition.

“See, in all these things, this is the format of T20. Sometimes you do a lot, sometimes you don't get an opportunity. But, it's important to stay confident. I'm pretty sure, when the opportunity arises, Jadeja will deliver. He's been somebody who's a seasoned campaigner. So, these guys really know how to step up and it's important.”

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