The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday named a 20-member squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand slated to be played in June and the five-match Test series against England.
Along with the 20-member squad, the BCCI also picked up four standby players – Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Arzan Nagwaswalla - for the WTF final and England series. Among the standby players, Prasidh Krishna and Avesh Khan have become household names due to their recent outings in Indian Premier League (IPL) and Abhimanyu Easwaran is one of India A regular player for some time now. However, Arzan Nagwaswalla was a surprise pick for many people.
Known as India’s Trent Boult in the domestic circuit, the 23-year-old left-arm medium-pacer hails from a Parsi community from a village Nargol, situated a few kilometres away from the border town of Umbergaon in Gujarat. Nagwaswalla is the first Parsi male cricketer to break into the Indian men's team in 46 years. Farokh Engineer was the last Parsi to play India in 1975. Nagwaswalla plays for Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy and made his debut against Baroda in Vadodara on November 1, 2018.
His name has been doing rounds for almost 2 years now after he picked up up 62 first-class wickets in just 16 matches at an average of a little over 22.
He had an impressive run during the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy campaign where he picked 41 wickets in eight matches at an impressive average of 18.36 and become the highest wicket-taker for Gujarat in that season. In his debut Ranji Trophy season, Nagwaswalla picked up 21 wickets in eight matches.
During the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy earlier this year, Nagwaswalla picked up stunning 19 wickets in just seven matches at an impressive economy rate of 4.32, including the best bowling spell of 6/54 in Vijay Hazare Trophy. He also took 9 wickets from five matches in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He is yet to feature in IPL but was roped in as a net bowler for Mumbai Indians in the recently suspended IPL
The tall lanky pacer has the ability to swing the ball both ways and can trouble batters with his persistent line-length bowling. Having been picked up as standby bowler in the absence of T Natarajan, who is nursing an injury, he can be an asset for Indian batters to prepare them for English conditions in the net sessions.
"The main thing is he is a pacer and he is a left-hander. His natural ability is to bring the ball back in, he has very good action. He has got that ability to bring back the delivery in, the natural left-armer and he has got very good pace. He is a very down to earth and shy guy,” Former Gujarat right-arm pacer and coach Hitesh Majumdar told PTI.
Gujarat Ranji player and Nagwaswalla’s team-mate Priyanka Panchal told the Indian Express on Friday that the pacer has deadly bouncer and bowls in good areas.
“The best part is that he can swing the ball both ways. At the same time, he clocks 135-plus on a consistent basis. He is the one of the few bowlers on the domestic circuit with a deadly bouncer. Fast bowlers bowl short by pitching around the halfway mark, but Arzan can get bounce by pitching between halfway and the good-length area. The way he bowled in Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy, I thought someone will pick him for the Indian Premier League but he went just as a net bowler for Mumbai Indians. The good thing is that now Arzan will grow from here. Initially, he had pace but didn’t have control over the line. Even a stint as a net bowler with the Indian team will boost his confidence. He will come back a better bowler after the tour,” Panchal said
India's Squad for WTC final and Test series against England: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).