'Come and feel the heart beat' - Arshdeep Singh revels in death-overs masterclass

Kings captain Sam Curran found their batting depth as an important reason behind their victory

Arshdeep Singh is among the death bowling elite in short-form cricket. Since 2022, only four men have delivered at least 60 overs in the last four of a T20 game and taken a minimum of 30 wickets. He's one of them and he has the best average and the best economy rate of the lot. But some of that good work was spoiled by his tendency to overstep. He's bowled 18 front-foot no-balls in this time.
On Saturday, Mumbai needed 34 to win from 17 balls, with Suryakumar Yadav at his destructive best, and Tim David having just swung a six. The next five balls saw Arshdeep bowl a yorker and three low full tosses, thus executing with perfection what he was tasked to do. That included dismissing Suryakumar for 57 off 25 balls. So how does he do it?
"The rhythm felt good before the IPL," Arshdeep told the broadcasters after Punjab Kings beat Mumbai in a tight win, and he finished with 4 for 29. "I changed my run-up a bit, and it helped with my no-ball problem,"
And what of the pressure, asked Danny Morrison. "I guess Danny you should come next to me and feel the heart beat; it's not even 120."
Arshdeep's captain Sam Curran, also chosen as the Player of the Match for a match-turning 55 off 29 balls, credited his bowlers - including Nathan Ellis, who came back well after being hit for a six in the 19th over - for defending a total of 214 in what was a very tight finish.
"I don't think personally I should be getting the Man of the Match [award], [after] the way the boys closed out the game," Curran said. "Arshdeep and Nathan were incredible. The spinners bowled really well."
Curran said that despite the absence of regular captain Shikhar Dhawan, the depth that Kings have in their line-up - with Jitesh Sharma and Shahrukh Khan slotted at Nos. 7 and 8 respectively against Mumbai - allowed him to bat freely and help his side recover from being 83 for 4 in the tenth over. Curran and Harpreet Bhatia added 92 in eight overs, after which Jitesh cracked 25 from only seven balls - including four sixes.
"The time when I went in to bat, I knew I had to give myself a bit of a chance," Curran said. "Maybe [in] the previous games I have batted, I looked to go [big] a little earlier [than required]. I kind of reflected on that. We've got a really long batting line-up. Jitesh just came and went bang, bang, bang! We know we've got that in the sheds. Also without having Shikhar... we just have to take that responsibility."
Curran's counterpart Rohit Sharma was disappointed at how his bowlers let slip the situation, but wasn't looking too far ahead yet. He said the fact that they still had eight games to go provided them with enough time to bounce back.
"We've played six games now; we've won three and lost three. So even stevens at the moment," he said. "[There is] still a lot of time left in the tournament; we cannot really look down and start worrying too much about things. It's about staying in the game and the competition, and keep doing the right things.
"Got to give credit to Arshdeep, how he bowled in the last couple of overs. It was not really our day, but we gave it a good fight."