India trounced South Africa by 8 wickets in the first T20 International to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Fast bowlers Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh were instrumental in this victory of the hosts, who destroyed Africa's top order in the opening overs itself. Together, the two bowlers sent five South African batsmen to the pavilion for 9 runs inside the powerplay. Of these, Arshdeep took three wickets in an over and pushed the guests on the backfoot.
The left-arm pacer took three wickets for 32 runs in four overs and was adjudged man of the match for this. This performance of Arshdeep has been highly appreciated by former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal. Akmal has heaped praise on the 23-year-old Indian bowler. Akmal, who was a member of the Pakistan team that won the T20 World Cup in 2009, believes that India has found its "next Zaheer Khan" in Arshdeep.
Akmal said on his YouTube channel, "Arshdeep Singh is an incredible bowler. I think the Indian team has got another Zaheer Khan. There is both pace and swing, and he bowls intelligently. Also, he is mentally strong. We know what potential they have, and how to use the condition. Arshdeep has both pace and swing, and he has bowling skills as well. He is mentally strong and knows his abilities.
The former wicketkeeper further said, "He got Riley Russo caught back, bowled de Kock. The best approach was against David Miller when he got the ball out and bowled with an inswing. It was unbelievable. The young pacer bowled with gusto and maturity. He has the pace, he is young too. This is a good sign for Team India. Team India also needed a left-arm pacer because no one was coming after Zaheer.