Former India captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth has claimed Arshdeep Singh would be the No. 1 bowler in T20 International.
Before the third T20I match between India and the West Indies, Srikkanth asked current chief selector Chetan Sharma to include Singh in India's World T20 squad.
“He will be the future world No. 1 in T20Is. He is simply outstanding. Arshdeep Singh! Make a note of it. He will be in the T20 World Cup team. Come on Chetu, please take his name also,” Srikkanth said.
The 23-year-old Singh first received national attention in last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). He scored 18 wickets in just 12 matches at an impressive average of 19. While he could only claim ten wickets in IPL 2022, his economy rate went down from over 8 to 7.70, earning him his Men in Blue debut on the tour of England.
He has since played four T20I innings for India, picking six wickets at 6.51. Srikkanth said he was impressed with Singh due to his ability to bowl Yorker ball and calm approach in the death overs during the IPL 2022.
Former Indian cricketer Reetinder Singh Sodhi also praised the player. He said he was certain that Singh could handle the pressure of "big-time cricket".
“Arshdeep Singh is ready for big-time cricket, so India have a great prospect in their grasp.
“Selectors might have 20 names in mind around now for the WC and if they select 15 out of those, he has a good chance of making it, the team will benefit from having a left-arm seamer in Australian conditions,” Sodhi said.
After two matches against West Indies in Florida, India’s next T20I match would be the Asia, Cup which will begin later this month. It would the team’s last outing before the World Cup in October.
Singh is facing tough competition from Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Deepak Chahar, and Mohammed Shami in the race to be the No. 1 T20 player.
Criticism on Ashwin's return
Srikkanth also expressed his confusion about spinner Ravichandran Ashwin being recalled to the team. Srikkanth said that Ashwin was not part of the plan for team India for the last eight months.
“It is a big question. Regarding Ashwin, I am totally confused. Why was he not dropped, then why was he not there? Then why was he not playing the T20 in England? Suddenly why is he in the T20s for the West Indies? It is confusing for all of us,” Srikkanth said.
Before the West Indies series, Ashwin last played a T20I for India in a home series against New Zealand. He has taken three wickets at an average of 26.66 and conceded 80 runs at an economy rate of 6.66.
Instead of Ashwin, Srikkanth said Yuzvendra Chahal should be the first option for the T20 World Cup. Srikkanth asserted that all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja should also be on the team.
“Because your first spinner is Jadeja. The second is Chahal or Axar Patel or Ashwin or there will be a reserve spinner. Out of these four, only two will go. Ideally…don’t know Ashwin…maybe because of his all-rounder capabilities. But my first option would be Chahal. He is the wrist spinner,” Srikkanth said.