Pacer Vaibhav Arora made a roaring debut for the Punjab Kings, picking two important top order wickets of opener Robin Uthappa and danger man Moeen Ali in the Tata Indian Premier League 2022 encounter against the Chennai Super Kings at the Brabourne Stadium.

He debuted with figures 4-0-21-2, with his dream start contributing to a 54-run victory against the defending champions, who failed to chase down a PBKS total of 180 in the designated 20 overs.

The youngster's inclusion raised eyebrows all around, with the management giving him a go over the experienced Sandeep Sharma. With expectations high and critics waiting to pounce on him, he delivered a performance that would change everybody’s impression of the pacer from Himachal Pradesh.

After his good display on the field, he got a chance to speak about the game, his debut, the swing he got, and his love for the new ball.

On the total being defendable

While the Punjab Kings batters looked set to go beyond 200 in their first innings at one point, a total of 180 suddenly seemed a few runs short. However, Arora clarified that there was indeed a plan in place, and that this total was very much defendable.

“Our plan was that 180 is a good score. We needed to strike during the powerplay. The new ball was swinging, so we planned to get two-three wickets in the powerplay, and it will be difficult for them to chase down the target. We executed our plan successfully,” Arora said, with a hint of pride.

On Mayank Agarwal’s captaincy

To give a debutant bowler new ball responsibilities was huge. Additionally, given the plan to take quick wickets in the powerplay, Captain Mayank Agarwal backed his new ball bowlers to bring in the breakthroughs. Debutant Arora was given this responsibility, and he executed it impressively. Arora shared his thoughts on Agarwal’s captaincy.

“The ball was swinging well. I executed the plan according to what Mayank bhai had discussed with me. I got two wickets in my first three overs, so he let me bowl my fourth, since I was still getting good swing. We always knew Arsh (Arshdeep Singh) and KG (Kagiso Rabada) were there to take care of things at the end, so Mayank allowed me to make the best of the conditions,” Arora elaborated.

On debut and sharing space with Rabada

It is a dream for a youngster to make their IPL debut, not just for being seen by millions of fans, but also by selectors on a bigger platform. Arora, like most others, did have his nerves. “Of course there is some pressure ahead of the debut. But I believed in myself,” Arora recalls.

His faith came from his recent good form. “I did well both in my domestic games and in the practice matches with the new ball. Thus, I had the confidence of doing well, which I reaped the results of too.”

“Additionally, sharing the dressing room with Rabada is helping me learn a lot. He is one of the best bowlers in the world. I do talk to him about bowling, and he is also always sharing tips and tricks that I can add on to my repertoire as well,” an enthusiastic Arora said.

This is just a beginning for the youngster. He has promise. He has intent. He has the skill. The time is here for us to see him climbing greater heights.