Left-arm pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla, who will fly to the UK with the Indian team as a stand-by player, says shutting down comparisons, staying patient and focussing on routine played a key role in yielding the desired outcome for him. The 23-year-old has been picked as a stand-by player for the upcoming final of the World Test Championship (WTC) and the five-match Test series against England on the back of his impressive performances in domestic cricket.

Nagwaswalla, 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, has said that Zaheer Khan has always been his bowling idol and he is also looking to learn the tricks of the trade from Jasprit Bumrah and bowling coach Bharat Arun.

“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,” Nagwaswalla told BCCI.TV.

Nagwaswalla was the net bowler for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021. He had an opportunity to speak with MI’s premium fast bowler 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 there on, it is up to you to decide what you want to do,” he added.

When asked about he felt after being picked as standby for England tour, Nagwaswalla said: “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.”

“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,” he added.

Further talking about what he wants to learn from bowling coach Bharat Arun, he said: “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 superb bench strength. I am sure I will get to learn a lot from Bharat Arun sir. It is really hard to digest and believe, honestly. It will take some time to think about this as a reality,” he added.

The youngster said he was mighty impressed with the way the Indian team played and won in Australia and he just can’t wait to see the senior players in flesh and bone, whom he has so far watched only on TV.

“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.”

“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,” Nagwaswalla said.

India’s Squad: 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).