Mumbai: Even as Harpreet Brar was guiding Punjab Kings to victory with his guiles, he was all along wanting his pace-bowling teammate Arshdeep Singh to make the India cut for the T20I series against South Africa.
The 23-year-old Arshdeep was rewarded for his efforts in IPL 2022 by being included in the squad for the five-match T20I series against the Proteas beginning in New Delhi on June 9.
Brar, who returned the best bowling figures for his side in IPL 2022’s last league game at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday, taking three wickets for 26 runs in his four overs as PBKS defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by five wickets, added that representing the country is every cricketer’s dream and he was happy that Arshdeep had made the grade.
“I am happy for Arshdeep, he has got an opportunity to represent the country because that’s what a player seeks out to do,” said Brar.
Brar added that he would look to polish his skills further and come back stronger in the next season. “I will look to work on my skills in the upcoming season and I firstly look forward to spending time with my family, having not seen them for four months,” said the 26-year-old.
Brar, who was adjudged Player of the Match, said that he was happy that the pitch assisted his style of bowling on Sunday, and indicated that, at times, it is disappointing for spinners to be taken apart on unhelpful wickets.
“When I saw the pitch, I realised that it could support spinners and was happy. Spinners have been taken for runs in this season and (I) felt that I wanted to do well on this track. My aim is always to bowl well in my decided areas and perform under pressure. My focus is on my skills. (Aiden Markram’s wicket) That ball had turn and bounce. I was seeing that he was playing on the back foot and wanted to draw him forward. So I felt happy to pick up such a wicket,” added Brar.
Punjab Kings’ batter Liam Livingstone, who came up with another commanding performance, smashing an unbeaten 49 off 22 deliveries as his team chased down SRH’s 157 with 29 balls to spare, said that he was happy with his batting throughout the season.
“It was nice. I felt like I was hitting the ball well throughout the tournament. The way we played (on Sunday) was perfect — attacking as well as being smart. It’s been a long two and a half months, it would be good to be away. I am a big believer in matchups and I knew Umran (Malik) and Washy (Washington Sundar) were my matchups. Tried to play left-handers well. I don’t think I have ever hit a left-arm spinner over extra covers.
“We needed just over a run a ball, so didn’t need to go all guns blazing. Need to work out the game and decide how hard to go. It’s nice to prove a few people wrong. Had a few comments after last year’s IPL. I am still learning and developing. It’s about gaining the experience and be a better player. Bowling does not come naturally to me. I enjoy the challenge and would have liked to bowl more in the tournament. But the way you want to play T20 is to affect each of the three aspects,” added the England player.