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He is only 23 but Arzan Nagwaswalla, on the back of his impressive performances in domestic cricket, is picked as a standby player to join the Indian squad which will fly to England for the ICC World Test Championship Final and the five-match Test series against England.
The left-arm pacer, who was Gujarat’s leading wicket-taker (41 wickets at an average of 18.36) during their run to the Ranji Trophy 2019-20 semifinal, spoke with BCCI.TV about his selection, his interaction with Jasprit Bumrah, learnings from Parthiv Patel, the things that he is looking forward to, a ‘dream-like’ journey and more.
What was your and family’s first reaction after you were named in the squad?
Everyone was so happy and speechless when they got to know the news. I received the call when I was on my way back home and then called up my parents to share the news. When I reached home, some of my friends were there. We cut a cake.
How will you sum up your entire journey till now?
In 10-15 seconds, my entire journey till now flashed before my eyes (after he was named as a standby player). When I started, I didn't even know what would be in store for me. I was not even aware where I would head to and play next if I got selected for Valsad.
What are you looking forward to the most now as he will be joining the squad as a standby player?
I am excited to meet and see all the cricketers jinko abhee tak bass TV par India ke liye achha karte hue dekhaa hai. They have secured some big wins against Australia and England recently. So, I am looking forward to learning as much as I can from all of them.
How has the domestic cricket grind helped you grow as a cricketer?
The grind in domestic cricket has helped me understand the importance of routine. How to practice, how to bowl during practice and how to focus on the process and keep following the same, without thinking too much about the result. If you follow the process correctly, you will surely get the desired outcome.
In addition to that, it is important to be patient. There is no point comparing yourself with anyone and ponder over why someone else is selected and not me.
Who have been your bowling idols?
My bowling idol and inspiration has always been Zaheer Khan mainly because he has also been a left-arm pacer. I have grown up watching him playing for India and doing really well.
On his state teammate and one of the leading modern-day pacers – Jasprit Bumrah
Although we have not played together in domestic cricket because Bumrah has been representing India, whenever we have practiced together (at Mumbai Indians), he has always told me to learn as much as I can from everyone – be it from Zaheer bhai or Shane Bond or from anyone. From thereon, it is upto you to decide what you want to do.
You have played with and under Parthiv Patel – former India wicket-keeper and a giant in domestic cricket. What have been your learnings from him?
I have made my debut under him in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2018. The way he uses his mind and operates during the game is completely on a different level. He used to tell me that you must know your role with the ball; be it coming in as a third pacer or taking the new ball. He always highlighted the importance of planning going into the game and told us to believe in ourselves while executing our plans.
On his Parsi connect
I was familiar with this. When I was playing Ranji Trophy, people used to tell me that bahot saalo se koi Parsi cricketer India ke liye khela nahi. It is something like giving back to the community. I am very happy.
What do you look to learn from the Indian team and the bowling coach B Arun?
I am very excited to meet this team. Despite the injuries, we went on to win the series in Australia. I just can't wait to witness the team which has such a strong self-belief.
Under Bharat Arun sir, our fast bowling has seen a great transformation. We have a superb bench strength. I am sure I will get to learn a lot from Bharat Arun sir.
What are your thoughts on moving one step closer to your India dream?
It is really hard to digest and believe, honestly. It will take some time to think about this as a reality.