Australia fast-bowling great Brett Lee wants India skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid to take the responsibility of shielding left-arm fast-bowler Arshdeep Singh from the overdose of advice that a young cricketer gets after succeeding initially at the international level.
Arshdeep has been the find for India in T20Is this year, stepping up admirably in Jasprit Bumrah’s absence to pick ten wickets in the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia. Since his T20I debut against England in July this year, he has picked 33 wickets in 21 matches at an average of 18.12 and an economy rate of 8.17.
Though he didn’t have a memorable ODI debut in the first match against New Zealand in Auckland, his ability to nail yorkers and be calm in high-pressure situations have earned Arshdeep plaudits from all corners.
“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 advice 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,” said Lee in a video on his YouTube channel.
Lee also feels Arshdeep should get back to domestic cricket whenever the chance comes in order to hone his cricketing skills, especially in first-class matches.
“Keep working on your skills in domestic cricket, because when there are 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 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 while being a vital cog in the wheel for Australia, advised Arshdeep to strike a balance between playing cricket and spending time on social media so that trolls don’t occupy his mind space.
Arshdeep was viciously trolled on social media when he dropped a simple catch of Asif Ali in the 19th over of an Asia Cup Super Four match against Pakistan in September. “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.”
“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 common sense to separate that. If you don’t like it, get off social media and focus on your cricket.”
Arshdeep could be seen in action for India in the third ODI against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch on Wednesday. The hosts are leading the three-match series 1-0, following their seven-wicket win in the first match in Auckland and the second game was washed out due to rain in Hamilton.