Australian fast-bowling legend Brett Lee wants Indian coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma to protect up-and-coming left arm pacer Arshdeep Singh from overdosing on advice as it could prove “counterproductive”.
Since making his international debut in July this year, Arshdeep has been one of the top performers with the ball for India, cementing his place in the T20 squad and playing his first ODI on the ongoing New Zealand tour.
In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep has seized the opportunity with both hands, picking up 33 wickets from 23 T20Is.
“Very often teams don’t know what to do with these young and breakthrough stars. We’ve seen it before when young players get involved and get advice from players, TV, commentators at the hotel. Every man means well, but very often too much advice can be counterproductive,” Lee said on his YouTube channel, BRETT LEE TV.
“So I think Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma have a responsibility to protect Arshdeep Singh from this overdose of advice.” Lee gave Arshdeep a few inputs to stay injury free.
“As someone who has played a few games I think I am quite qualified to pass my thoughts on to him. I have a few little things that I think could help Arshdeep with his action and take more wicket.
“My first piece of advice to Arshdeep would be that people often say that a fast bowler should go to the gym and bulk up. We hear they want him to grow up, be strong. Now strong can be strong in spirit. I would say don’t exercise too much,” he said.
“Lightweight, high reps. Don’t worry about the beach muscles. If you want to, it won’t help you bowl fast,” Lee added.
Arshdeep was brutally harassed on social media after he dropped an easy catch to Pakistan batsman Asif Ali during a Super 4 match of the last Asia Cup. Lee advised the youngster not to be distracted by social media posts.
“Number 2 will be to build a mental filter for social media comments because we know the guys and girls playing are all on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“If you are going to exercise and be present on social media, you have to understand that you have to turn off notifications. Don’t read what it says. Have the brains and common sense to part that. If you don’t like it then get off social media and focus on your cricket,” he said.
The former Australian cricketer also wants Arshdeep to play domestic cricket, a platform that will help him refine his skills.
“Keep working on your skills in domestic cricket because if there are no major World Cups and you don’t play Test cricket, there are no spectators. This is where you need to shine,” Lee said.
“So this is what I think has been the bread and butter of my career. Go back to first-class cricket, enjoy the tranquility of the crowd and improve and build those skills. If you can take care of that, the higher level will follow.” Lee also advised Arshdeep not to go for speed and instead focus on line and length.
“We also often hear about fast bowlers trying to bowl too fast. Don’t be obsessed with bowling a ball at 90 mph every time. On the one hand I would always say bowl that fast, but you also have to bowl that right line and length,” he said.
“We are talking about bowlers who try to bowl too fast, they lose their form, rhythm and seam position. Make sure you work on optimizing what your best speed is and work on your performance.
“It will come from practice and bowling line and length. Can you go fast and do you have a good line and length? Sure, but don’t try to bowl every ball at 160. That would be the best way for Arshdeep.
“At the same time, you don’t have to bowl all the slower balls every time. Work on controlling that speed, but sometimes drop 5 mph and get that line and length. Get that wicket. That is my advice to you.”