Brett Lee’s advice to Arshdeep Singh: ‘When you are bowling at the death, have a clear plan’

The former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee says that while bowling at the death, someone like Arshdeep Singh needs to have three balls up their sleeve – a straight yorker, a wide-line yorker and a slow ball back of length. While practice is the key, it is important for the bowler to back himself.

Arshdeep Singh takes advice from captain Rohit Sharma during India’s match against Pakistan in the Asia Cup.

Arshdeep Singh takes advice from captain Rohit Sharma during India’s match against Pakistan in the Asia Cup. | Photo Credit: AP

The former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee says that while bowling at the death, someone like Arshdeep Singh needs to have three balls up their sleeve – a straight yorker, a wide-line yorker and a slow ball back of length. While practice is the key, it is important for the bowler to back himself.

Former Australia pacer Brett Lee has a piece of advice for young Indian fast bowler Arshdeep Singh, who has drawn flak for his performance in the ongoing Asia Cup.

“My advice to someone like an Arshdeep would be that when you are bowling at the death, have a clear plan,” Lee tells  Sportstar during an exclusive interview on Wednesday on the sidelines of an event organised by Jacob’s Creek - the partner of ICC T20 World Cup 2022 - of which he is a brand ambassador.

In the Super-Four stage of the tournament, India hasn’t been able to close out matches in the death overs. With the seasoned Bhuvneshwar Kumar struggling in the penultimate overs of the last two fixtures - against Pakistan and Sri Lanka - Arshdeep Singh was unsuccessful in defending seven runs in both games.

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Featuring in his first big-ticket tournament, Arshdeep looked under pressure, but Lee believes that the youngster needs to back himself.

“(While bowling at the death) You need three balls up your sleeve – one would be a straight yorker, one’s a wide-line yorker and one would be the slow ball back of length. Now you need to commit to your training and practice and practice, like 5000 times,” Lee said.

Drawing reference to his training regime, Lee said, “You might have the whole session practicing just one thing – like I used to do. I used to do an hour straight of bowling yorkers. So, when I’m under pressure and I’ve got Kohli at the death, who is on 89 not out, and they need six runs off the last over, I need to go back to my memory bank and think, ‘bang, that’s the yorker I’ve been training yesterday’ and be confident that you can execute that yorker.

“Now, there are times when the yorker doesn’t happen and in that case, you have to move to option B. It could be a wide-line yorker, and if option B doesn’t work, you might have to bowl a slow ball back of length. So, have three clearly planned options,” the former Australian quick added.

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With Jasprit Bumrah out of the team due to an injury and Mohammed Shami not considered for selection, India travelled to the UAE for the Asia Cup with Arshdeep and Avesh Khan - who don’t have too much experience of playing international cricket. And having experienced highs and lows in his career, Lee understands what it takes for a young fast bowler to overcome the jitters.

“When you are under pressure and when you don’t have experience, you don’t know what to do. You can’t actually buy experience; you can’t go to a shop and say, ‘Give me a bag of experience’. Experience comes with playing against different nations, playing in different circumstances, playing on different fields, bowling at different times. That’s experience,” Lee said. 

“You have to become a person who believes that, ‘if you make a mistake, that’s fine’. Everyone makes a mistake – I’ve made so many in my career. But as long as you learn from that mistake and that then becomes part of the experience journey.”

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