Former Team India bowling coach Bharat Arun has lavished praise on new-ball bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh for their exemplary spell against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2022 on Sunday, October 23. The duo set things up for the Men in Blue by rattling the Pakistan top order, leaving them reeling at 15-2 after four overs.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl first on a greenish surface at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The pacers made the most of the conditions from the word go. Pakistan were only able to get off the mark after 10 deliveries, with Bhuvneshwar and Arshdeep keeping things tight and precise.
Noting that the new-ball bowlers repaid Rohit's trust by bowling a brilliant spell to set things up for India, Arun wrote in his column for Cricbuzz:
"The early advantage to India was handed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh after Rohit Sharma trusted them to do so by choosing to field first on that chilly night in Melbourne. The Indian team anyway backs themselves to be good chasers but the conditions on Sunday evening almost dictated that you let your fast bowlers have first go."
Bhuvneshwar, who bowled the first over of the innings, had Mohammad Rizwan in all sorts of trouble and only conceded a solitary run, which came off a wide delivery.
Naming the Meerut-born pacer as one of the best bowlers in the world when it comes to swinging the ball, Arun wrote:
"To not let the Pakistani batters put bat to ball for the first 10 deliveries just tells you how good the new-ball duo was. The conditions were very well-suited for Bhuvi. He's probably one of the best exponents of swing bowling in contemporary cricket."
The right-arm pacer has been a constant presence in the Indian unit, featuring in 25 out of the 33 T20Is the Men in Blue have played so far in 2022. With the Australian conditions offering good swing so far, he has been able to make his presence felt with 30 dot balls in the seven overs he has bowled in the tournament.
Opining that Bhuvneshwar has been in good rhythm of late, Arun wrote:
"It's always a good sign when Bhuvi is hitting speeds of 130-plus. That's when he's at his best. It tells me he's in very good rhythm, and when he's in good rhythm, Bhuvi starts getting that disconcerting bounce and also the carry because he's bending his back. It is a very, very healthy sign for India."
Bhuvneshwar followed up his heroics against Pakistan with a stellar spell in India's recent win over the Netherlands. He became the first Indian bowler to bowl back-to-back maiden overs in a T20I contest and finished with figures of 3-9.
"The standout for me though was young Arshdeep" - Bharat Arun
Arshdeep has been a revelation for the Indian side ever since a proficient Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign earlier this year. He had to wait a while to make his India debut, but the youngster has hardly put a foot wrong since his first appearance in the national team colors.
The left-arm seamer accounted for the wickets of both Babar Azam and Rizwan to bring Pakistan's fragile middle order into the picture very early on.
Noting that the Punjab-born pacer has cracked the code to bowl to right-handed batters, Arun wrote:
"The standout for me though was young Arshdeep with his ability to bring the ball in from the over-the-wicket angle to a right-hander. Batters around the world find it the most difficult lines to play. If the left-armer can keep doing it consistently, then he will be a handful for anyone during this World Cup."
"For him to come back strongly in a high pressure match like India-Pakistan and be spot-on, he didn't seem nervous to me. These are the qualities I'm really looking for in a bowler."
Arshdeep excelled once again during India's triumph over the Netherlands at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). He ended with figures of 2-37 as India secured a win by 56 runs to go atop their group.
Will the new-ball bowling pair continue to make an impression at the T20 World Cup 2022? Let us know what you think.
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