Akash Deep’s trusted bowling process set the stage for a dream debut against England

After the conclusion of the opening day of the fourth Test against England in Ranchi, Indian pacer Akash Deep reflected on his sensational debut.

Within his first 35 deliveries, debutant pacer Akash Deep had sent the England top-order packing. While England’s openers had helped them race to 47 at a run rate closing in on five, his triple strike brought the hosts right back into the contest.

He finished the day with figures of 3 for 70 in 17 overs. 

Speaking after the opening day, Deep, who plays for Bengal in the domestic circuit, credited his process for success in the morning,

“When I started to bowl, I wasn’t thinking about a five-wicket haul or a three-wicket haul,” Deep said. “I wanted to follow my process, to bowl to my strengths. I kept bowling in good areas and that yielded me wickets. As a fast bowler, it becomes easier when we focus on bowling in good areas.”

Akash Deep claimed his first wicket in the 10th over, dismissing Ben Duckett, however, he could’ve also had his partner Zak Crawley much earlier. In the fourth over of the first innings, Deep uprooted Crawley’s off-stump, only to find out that he had bowled a no-ball.

Although a significant opportunity slipped away, Deep later managed to dismiss Crawley in the same spell.

“I didn’t feel too bad because I knew even if I didn’t get his wicket, one of our teammates will. But when he hit Siraj for three boundaries and a six in the next over, I felt bad because I felt that I had let my team down.

“He is a good batter and scores quickly, hence I was tense. So it was good that I had his wicket soon.”

Deep’s opening spell was backed by the India spinners, and the hosts had sent half of the English side back in the first session itself. However, a fighting century from Joe Root helped England finish the day at 302/7.

Speaking about the wicket, Deep said that the pitch dried out after the initial hours and it was easier to score after the ball became old. Thus, India employed a holding strategy.

“This is a wicket that remains slow. Because the ball was new and hard initially, it helped quite a bit as a fast bowler, but after Lunch the ball became old and wicket became dried.

“It didn’t have the pace, so there were a number of inside edges but the batters managed to get away with it.

“So in these circumstances, we couldn’t have gone for wickets. Our strategy was to contain runs, and if a side like England, who have a different formula of cricket, if they’ve batted out the entire 90 overs and scored 300 runs then it’s because we bowled in good areas.”

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