Arzan Nagwaswalla
Arzan Nagwaswalla [Image-BCCI]

The Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI] has announced Team India’s squad for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand and the succeeding five-match Test series against England during the course of the English summer.

Just like the Australian tour, India will also carry four standby players with the 20-member squad. The standby players are Avesh Khan, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, and a young left-arm pacer from Gujarat- Arzan Nagwaswalla.

Arzan Nagwaswalla’s inclusion, albeit as a standby player, is a pivotal moment in Indian cricket history as after a long long time a Parsi cricketer has broken his way into national reckoning.

The Parsi community has given Indian cricket a plethora of legendary names in its rich cricket history. 

Parsis were the first Indian team to visit England in 1886.  The likes of Polly Umrigar, Nari Contractor, Farrokh Engineer, Diana Eduji have all represented the Indian team with distinction in the past.

But, in recent times, Parsi cricketers have almost vanished from the scene. 

And so, after more than 130 years since the Parsis first traveled to England, another cricketer from the proud community will visit the English shores in the form of Gujarat’s left-arm pacer, Arzan Nagaswalla.

Arzan Nagwaswalla
Arzan Nagwaswalla [Image-Google]
So, who exactly is Arzan Nagwaswalla? Nagwaswalla is an upcoming pace bowler from Gujarat who has turned heads in domestic cricket in recent times courtesy of his performances in his first two seasons of Ranji Trophy.

Arzan Nagwaswalla hadn’t played much club cricket prior to his FC debut but he has trained under former Ranji players.

“There are no clubs. My village Umbergaon is on the border of Maharashtra. We had a few Ranji players at our players and I worked under them. I got interest and then the opportunities one after another.” Nagwaswalla was quoted as saying by DNA in 2018.

The left-armer made an impression in just his third game of his maiden season in 2018 as he inflicted a major batting collapse on Mumbai by claiming 5/78 which included crucial scalps of the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Aditya Tare, and Siddhesh Lad.

Arzan Nagwaswalla completed the season with 21 wickets in eight games at an average of 30.66 which reflected inconsistency in his game. In the following season, he made his T20 debut in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy where he once again gave a glimpse of his talent as he notched up figures of 3/11 in 4 overs against a strong Tamil Nadu unit.

But it was in the following FC season in 2019/20 that we saw Arzan Nagwaswalla come into his own as he claimed wickets for fun with his vicious inswingers, equally deadly outswingers, and some brilliant short-pitch stuff on unresponsive surfaces.

In a season where he ended up taking 41 wickets in 8 matches at an average of 18.36 with three five-wicket-hauls and one ten-for, Arzan Nagwaswalla’s best performance came against Punjab as he rattled the latter’s top-order with booming inswingers and outswingers, eventually ending up with match-figures of 10/114.

As far as his overall FC numbers are concerned, Arzan Nagwaswalla has featured in 16 matches in which he has claimed 62 wickets at an average of 22.53 which includes 4 five-wicket-hauls and 1 ten-for.

Nagwaswalla has also featured in 20 List-A and 15 T20 matches, claiming 39 and 21 wickets respectively. He did brilliantly in the recent Vijay-Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, claiming 19 wickets in 7 matches at 14.05 and 9 wickets in 5 games at 14.09 respectively.

Also Read: 3 Players Who Should Have Been In The Indian Squad For The ICC World Test Championship Final

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.