Comparing Arshdeep Singh with Wasim Akram will put him under a lot of pressure: Jonty Rhodes

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    In the absence of ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah, the young sensation Arshdeep Singh has made his presence felt and delivered time and again for the Men in Blue. Courtesy of his brilliant bowling, the 23-year-old ended up as India’s leading wicket-taker (ten wickets from six matches) in the recently concluded T20 World Cup.

    The left-arm seamer can generate swing early on in the match and can be more than handy at the death with his ability to deliver yorkers with ease.

    His string of scintillating performances of late has made people compare him to Pakistan’s legendary pacer Wasim Akram. Former India international Nikhil Chopra hailed him as the new sultan of swing, while many others spoke about him creating the same kind of impact as the former Pakistan captain (Wasim Akram). However, former South Africa cricketer Jonty Rhodes reminded everyone that these comparisons can put Arshdeep under a lot of unnecessary pressure.

    “I think that’s putting him under a lot of pressure, to compare him to the great Wasim Akram, the sultan of swing,” said Rhodes after being appointed as the mentor of Samp Army, a cricket franchise.

    “Arsheep has certainly grown in the last two years and that’s been the case with the Indian fast bowlers. You look at a (Jasprit) Bumrah and his progression was so so quick and Arshdeep has done the same, he is a young fast bowler, willing to learn and listen and he puts in the hard yards. He does swing the ball and has been a revelation at the death. He’s great in the powerplay, has got good control and he can come around the wicket like Wasim Akram effectively,” the 53-year-old added.

    He’s someone who has great potential and possibility of having a fantastic career: Rhodes

    Following his brilliant bowling in the Indian Premier League, Arshdeep earned his maiden India cap in T20Is and found a permanent spot in the playing XI. In a total of 19 T20Is he played in 2022, Arshdeep picked up 29 wickets at an economy of 8.04, which proves his impact in international cricket. Thus, Rhodes believes that the 23-year-old will have a fantastic career but the comparisons need to stop.

    “He’s someone who has great potential and possibility of having a fantastic career. But you start to compare players to the ones who played before them, that puts them under unnecessary pressure. He wants to be the best Arshdeep Singh,” Rhodes added.

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