This is the moment I had been waiting for: Arvind

This is the moment I had been waiting for: Arvind
Of the many things buried in the rubble of Chris Gayle’s destruction was the splendid performance of fellow Royal Challengers Bangalore pace bowler S Arvind.

While Gayle swept the Chinnaswamy Stadium with a hurricane 57-ball 117, Arvind announced his return to the RCB fold with a brilliant spell to knock the stuffing out of Kings XI Punjab’s chase.

Playing his first match of the season, the left-arm medium pacer, who only got a call-up to the RCB squad after Adam Milne was ruled out due to an injury, showed what the team had been missing over the last two seasons when he was busy recuperating from knee injury. He ran through the Kings XI middle-order with a superb spell of 4-0-27-4.

What stood out was the way he got his wickets, castling big-hitters Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and George Bailey who either paid the price for taking him too lightly or fell prey to the Karnataka’s pacer guile. “Yeah, it's been a wonderful performance. For two years I’ve been working hard. This is the moment I had been waiting for. It’s wonderful to get into the team and make a comeback,” said Arvind. “Thanks to Adam Milne (I’ve got a chance to play for RCB). I’m sorry for his injury, but the opportunity only came to me because of that. I had to grab it. I’ve been working hard in the nets. The coach and the other support staff have been very helpful.”

After emerging RCB’s best bowler in 2011 -- his debut year -- with 21 wickets in 13 matches, things went downhill for the 31-year-old. Crippled by a knee injury, Arvind was replaced by Prashanth Parameswaran after playing just one match for RCB in 2012. The injury had a debilitating effect on the crafty pacer, forcing him to miss the complete 2012 domestic season. But he worked hard during the recovery phase, focusing on his fitness before making a comeback into the Karnataka Ranji team in 2013. In 2015, Arvind was not even picked up in the players’ auction held in January despite taking 42 wickets in the Ranji season, but Milne’s injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise which Arvind grabbed with both hands, making his return to IPL a memorable one.

“The injury made me stronger and made me work hard, on my fitness and my bowling as well. Physios like Muthukumar and Shravan, helped me a lot and I’m here only because of them. A huge thanks to them. I was not expecting a call-up (to IPL). Expectations can bog you down. The ambition should be there. I was working hard with my bowling, whatever the format be. It’s nice to be back amongst the set-up and take wickets,” added Arvind.

Nothing gets better than working with, perhaps, the best white-ball bowler in world cricket today, Mitchell Starc. Thrilled at sharing the dressing room with the Australian, Arvind said he was aiming at adding some more firepower to his arsenal by watching Starc. “It’s been quite interesting working with him. He’s one of the best bowlers in Australia and the world. He has taught me many things, hitting (the deck) hard and making use of the seam. The yorker is his main weapon and I’ve learnt many things from him.”

Bowling, often considered a weak point of RCB, received a massive boost since the arrival Starc. With Arvind too making a bold statement, RCB think-tank couldn’t have asked for more as the tournament heads into the final bend.

POINTS TABLE

Teams     Mat     Won      Lost    Tie/NR    Pts    NRR
Chennai Super Kings    10    7    3    0    14    +0.94
Rajasthan Royals    12    6    4    2    14    +0.09
Knight Riders    11    6    4    1    13    +0.40
Royal Challengers    10    5    4    1    11    +1.10
Sunrisers     10    5    5    0    10    -0.07
Mumbai Indians    10    5    5    0    10    -0.19   
Delhi Daredevils    11    4    7    0     8    -0.16
Kings XI Punjab    10    2    8    0    4    -1.85

Leading run-getter: Ajinkya Rahane (Rajasthan Royals) – 430 runs.
Leading wicket-taker: Ashish Nehra (Chennai Super Kings) –17.


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