Arshdeep: A lot of credit for my wickets goes to Bumrah

If Rohit Sharma, the Player of the Match for his 41-ball 92 in India’s 24-run win over Australia in T20 World Cup 2024, had to “open up all sides of the field” to counter the breeze in Gros Islet, Arshdeep Singh said the bowlers had to prevent “the wind to come into play” to not let the Australia batters take advantage of it. Arshdeep finished with 3 for 37, removing David Warner in the first over and then getting the wickets of big-hitters Tim David and Matthew Wade in the death overs.

“As a player and as a team, our motto is to adapt as well as we can to the conditions,” Arshdeep said after the match. “As for the wind factor, when we bowled from the end opposite to the pavilion, we got a lot of swing. From the other end, bowling against the wind… the batters were going to use the wind since the ball was travelling. So we had to look for defensive options there and not allow the wind to come into play.”

Josh Hazlewood, the most economical bowler of the day with 1 for 14 from four overs, said that 180 or thereabouts would have been a par score in those conditions; India ended with 25 more than that. Rohit was the main reason for that, but Suryakumar Yadav (31 off 16 balls) and later Hardik Pandya (27* off 17) contributed to the cause too.

“From one end, it was very hard for the bowlers to even pitch the ball, and the ball was flying to the boundary,” Arshdeep said. “So having the cushion of extra 15-20 runs always helps, gives you the extra freedom of going for wickets.”

With his three wickets, Arshdeep reached the top of the pile for the tournament, joint with Afghanistan’s Fazalhaq Farooqi. But he was quick to accept that a lot of his success was down to Jasprit Bumrah being Jasprit Bumrah at the other end, who dismissed Head in the 17th over to put India ahead.

“I guess a lot of credit goes to Jassi bhai because he puts a lot of pressure on the batters – he gives, what, three or four runs in an over – so batters are coming hard against me, and I just have to try and bowl my best ball and there are a lot of chances of getting wickets there,” Arshdeep said. “On the other end they see the runs are not coming and the asking rate is going high, so they take more risks against me. [There’s a] chance always of getting a wicket there. So a lot of credit for my wickets goes to Jassi bhai.”

Head took the lead in Australia’a chase by slamming 76 in 43 balls, with a spot in the semi-finals at stake. At the start of the 14th over, when Australia were 128 for 2, Kuldeep Yadav got rid of Glenn Maxwell, and Axar Patel removed Marcus Stoinis in the next over, and Australia were suddenly 135 for 4 with 71 to get in just under six overs.

“The thought [process] was clear. Our batters also batted on the same wicket, and early on it was easy to score runs, the ball was coming on nicely. But afterwards, it became tough to hit boundaries,” Arshdeep said. “We knew if we took a couple of wickets, it will be tough for the new batters coming in to hit boundaries at will. That was the plan. A couple of nice overs from the spinners in the middle overs helped us.”

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