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EXCLUSIVE | Arzan Nagwaswalla had the zeal from very beginning: Childhood coach

The Indian team has been one of those sides that has focused on strengthening the bench strength with every passing series. The evidence of which was pretty visible during the bilateral tie against Sri Lanka where the “other” Indian team led by Shikhar Dhawan clinched the three-match ODI series while managing to complete the T20I fixtures despite Covid-19 scare within the team on the tour. 

Similarly, the team management and the selectors had earlier picked up Abhimanyu Easwaran, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla and Prasidh Krishna as the standby players for the WTC final and the five-match Test series against England. 

Unfortunately, Avesh was ruled out of the series after sustaining a fracture in his left thumb during the warm-up match. India have suffered injury concerns for quite some time now. 

Shubman Gill and Washington Sundar were the other players who were ruled out of the England Tests due to respective injuries while India would also miss the services of Mayank Agarwal in the first Test after he was hit on the helmet during the practice session. The right-hander was subsequently ruled out of the first encounter. 

Nevertheless, as mentioned above, India have developed a pretty strong bench strength and we hope that the Virat Kohli-led side fetches positive results. 

Meanwhile, OneCricket had an exclusive chat with Nagwaswalla’s coach Kiran Tandel who talked about the pacer’s early days, how he was pretty different from the others and the importance of him being a left-arm bowler.

"He was 13-14 when he first came to me. There were some 6-7 boys in the group who used to train together. All of them were pretty good. I just felt Arzan being a left-handed bowler had some advantages and he had the talent also. So, I just thought that if he gets good guidance, he can reach a certain level,” Kiran said.

"He had that zeal from the very beginning and used to work really hard. He used to practice in the morning and evening. Whenever he could, he used to come for practice. In fact he used to call me up and ask me if I was free to be there at the practice,” he added. 

Talking about his bowling, Kiran revealed that the left-hander used to have a bit of problem with his run-up and how he rectified the flaws. 

"I found a bit of a problem with his run-up so we worked hard on that and focused on that. He used to over-step at times so I told him that if he works on his run-up, it would be really good for him as his bowling action was good."

"He started getting recognition in his early days and consistently performed at U16, U19 levels and then got a chance in the Ranji Trophy,” the coach further added. 

Tandel backed Arzan’s bowling style and said that the conditions in England would suit him and the left-hander can have some advantage.

“Dukes ball moves a lot more. One of his friends had a chat with him so Arzan told him that he had a practice session with Rahul, Jadeja and Pujara and the ball is showing some movement,” he said. 

"Moreover, the conditions there are cool so he will get some advantage. I feel he might make his debut in England. Being a left-arm pacer can give him an advantage."

"He is good with the old ball and gets wicket with that so that's another advantage that he has,” he added.

The world came to a standstill after there was a Covid-19 outbreak. Talking about the situation, Kiran explained how Arzan used to focus on his training even during the tough times. 

“We have a beach nearby, so Arzan used to go there and practice everyday. He has been doing a lot of hard work. He used to have a fixed schedule and then we used to have a fielding session whenever we could both with tennis balls and the cricket ball,” Tandel said. 

Nagwaswalla is probably the second left-handed pacer after Natarajan who has made it to the Indian dressing room in quite some time. When asked about the importance of a left-arm quick bowler, Kiran admitted that a bowler of that genre can bring a lot to the table.  

"Not having a left-arm pacer is a disadvantage but it also depends upon the opposition,” he concluded. 

India will begin the Test series against England on Wednesday (August 4, 2021) and this will also mark the beginning of the second cycle of the World Test Championship.  

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