It didn’t end there for Arshdeep. He ended the night with 3 for 32, with Mohammad Rizwan and Asif Ali both falling to the well-directed short ball.
“To have a wicket off your first ball [at the MCG] – that too of Babar Azam – was fantastic,” Kumble said. “He got three main batters of Pakistan – Rizwan, Azam and Asif. I thought it was brilliant, the way he bowled and he held his nerve.”
“Hundred-thousand people at the MCG, and you come in with your first ball right on the money,” Fleming said. “It was a great start for him and for India. So his temperament – I’ve witnessed it first hand in the IPL – [and] his ability to absorb pressure at the death… today it was right at the start.”
Kumble, who has been Arshdeep’s coach and seen his development at Punjab Kings in the IPL, also spoke about how he has added new weapons to his arsenal.
“Initially, he had lost the ball coming back in [to the right-hander],” Kumble said. “I thought Damien Wright, who was the bowling coach [at Kings], worked on him. He [Wright] had worked with Trent Boult as well when he was the New Zealand coach, and I’m really happy that Arshdeep is not just getting the ball back into the right-hander, but also taking the ball away. If you see it, it’s not just the angle, but he’s also swinging the ball away, which is a real bonus for Arshdeep.”
Pakistan’s innings against India ended at 159, and Arshdeep said before India began their chase – which went up to the final ball before India earned the win – that he just wanted to make his World Cup debut a memorable one.
“I just wanted to enjoy the moment. I guess it’ll never come again, so I just wanted to enjoy myself and have fun,” he said on Star Sports. “We wanted to make use of the long square boundaries, so the plan was to hit the wickets and the pads. I guess we’ll do our best and chase this down.”