India pace bowler Arshdeep Singh credited bowling coach Paras Mhambrey and the break he took ahead of the South Africa series for his player of the match performance in the first T20I in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
In conditions that aided swing bowling, the 23-year-old, along with Deepak Chahar, ripped through the South African top order to help set up India’s eight-wicket win. In the space of four balls, Arshdeep got rid of Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw and David Miller to leave South Africa 8-4 in two overs.
“The plan was to keep it simple and bowl in the right areas. I enjoyed Miller’s wicket as I thought he was expecting an outswinger, but I bowled an inswinger instead. The thought was to get his (Keshav Maharaj) wicket but he played well and the plan could have been different,” Arshdeep said.
Speaking to Mhambrey in a BCCI video interview, Arshdeep said, “I don’t have the habit of looking at the pitch. Mainly I go to the bowling coach and ask them what can happen on it. So I asked you that and you said there would be a bit of moisture at the start and we won a crucial toss which helped us a lot. In the first over, DC bhai set the tone. I felt that if I pitched the ball up at the start, it will swing and that was what I was trying.”
Arshdeep was rested by the BCCI for the T20I series against Australia during which time he reported to the National Cricket Academy for conditioning-related work.
“The purpose of the last 10 days was to get refreshed and come back stronger and fitter and I guess that helped me with my bowling. I feel really refreshed and looking forward to doing good things in the field,” Arshdeep said in the post-match press conference.