Arshdeep Singh has had a terrific year in T20is since making his debut in July. He has picked up 33 wickets in 21 T20 Internationals (T20I) for India and is also looking to cement his place in One-Day Internationals (ODI) having made his debut in the ongoing series against New Zealand.
Former Australia pacer Brett Lee feels that the young pacer should be protected from getting heaps of advices be it from cricketers, commentators or elsewhere which might do him more harm than good. Lee wants skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid to shield the fast bowler from such bombardment.
"Very often teams don't know what to do with these young and breakout stars. We have seen it before when young players get involved and advices from players, TV, commentators, at the hotel. Every man means well but very often, too much advice can be counter-productive. So, I think Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma have the responsibility to shield Arshdeep Singh from this overdose of advice," Lee said on his YouTube channel.
The former Aussie quick also feels Arshdeep should strike a balance between playing and spending time on social media to ensure that the trolls do not affect his game. Arshdeep faced the wrath of social media when he dropped a sitter in an Asia Cup match against Pakistan, which could have shattered the confidence of any young cricketer. Lee furthermore also wishes Arshdeep would go back and play domestic cricket whenever the opportunity occurs.
"Number 2 will be to build a mental filter to social media comments because we know that the guys and girls playing are all on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter," Lee said.
"If you're going to play a sport and have a social media presence, you have to understand that you should turn off notifications. Don't read what's written. Have the brains and commonsense to separate that. If you don't like it, get off social media and focus on your cricket."
"Keep working on your skills in domestic cricket, because when there is no big World Cups, and you're not playing Test cricket, there aren't any spectators. This is where you have to shine. So this is what I believe what was the bread and butter of my career.
"Going back to First-Class cricket, enjoy the quietness of the crowd and hone and build those skills. If you can look after that, the high-level will follow," Lee who has 718 international wickets to his name further added.
The Australia bowling great, who made debut back in 1999 finally was someone who could clock 145-150 KMPH at a regular basis and wants Arshdeep also to focus on his pace. The Punjab pacer very rarely clocks 145 KMPH and is around the 130-135 KMPH mark. Lee feels pace should not be a priority for Arshdeep.
"We also often hear about fast bowlers trying to bowl too fast. Don't be obsessed with bowling at 150 KMPH ball every time. On one hand, I would always say bowl as quick but you also ought to bowl that right line and length. We talk about bowlers trying to bowl too fast, they lose their shape, rhythm and seam position. Make sure you work on optimizing what is your best speed and work on your execution," Lee explained.
"It will come from practice and bowling line and length. Can you get fast and have a good line and length? Of course, but don't try to bowl every ball at 160. That would be the best way for Arshdeep. At the same time, don't be bowling all slower balls every single time. Work on containing that speed but sometimes take 5 KMPH off and hit that line and length. Get that wicket. That is my advice to you."
Arshdeep has been Rohit's go-to bowler especially in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and the 23-year-old has delivered thus far. With the 2023 50-pover World Cup se to be played in India, will Arshdeep be a certain starter then too? The next few months will be crucial in determining that.
The left-arm pacer will once again be in action in the third ODI against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch on Wednesday (November 30). The hosts lead the three-match series 1-0, following their seven-wicket win in the first game in Auckland. The second match in Hamilton was however washed out, making the final game a must-win for India to draw level.