England’s 19-year-old leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed recently opened up about the massive support he has received from Test captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum. Ahmed said that while he does bowl a loose delivery now and then, the backing from the team management makes him feel confident and he feels as if he is bowling like late Australian spinner Shane Warne as well. He also praised Stokes, saying a wonderful leader for him and the other two inexperienced spinners, Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir.
Speaking to talkSPORT Cricket, Ahmed said: “I bowl half-trackers probably every over, and I don’t feel like I do. I feel like I bowl like Shane Warne. So, it’s just the confidence I get given from the changing room and the backing I get makes it so much better. Even Stokes, the way he looks after us (spin-bowling group) and the way he talks to us, just about trying to get a wicket every ball and always looking for the next ball, is great. When people treat you so well, you want to do as well as you can for them. That’s the thing with his dressing room. They’ve treated me so well; they’ve looked after all of us.”
However, Rehan Ahmed is part of England’s squad for the ongoing five-match Test series against India. He did a good job in the first two Tests, picking up eight wickets across four innings. Rehan made his Test debut against Pakistan in Karachi in December 2022 as well. Recalling his maiden call-up, he added that Brendon McCullum informed him about his selection when he was playing in an England Lions game as well.
Ahmed added: “We were playing a Lions game at that time. Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley smacked me around. I got hit about 16 in five or six overs, something like that. So, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s not the best impressing.’. Brendon McCullum came up to me at lunch, saying you got to come with the first team. I was like, ‘Are you sure about that? I just got smacked’. But I was the happiest guy in the world. My dad was there as well, with his friends. So, I went to tell them as well.”
Meanwhile, Rehan Ahmed has also expressed his desire to dismiss star Indian batter Virat Kohli in the ongoing five-match Test series as well. However, Kohli opted out of the first two Tests, citing personal reasons. And, as per reports, he won’t be available for the upcoming Tests as well. Rehan also praised Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill.
“It’ll be good. I think it will be another challenge. He is an unbelievable player. The record speaks for itself. It’ll be nice to have Virat Kohli out as well. Give me an opportunity to do that; hopefully, I do,” Rehan Ahmed said “Jaiswal is a great player. I really like the way he plays. Hopefully, he doesn’t get any runs against us, but you have to respect he played very well, and so did Shubman.”
“I reckon we could have chased the score; we just didn’t. We put ourselves in a great position. We were very behind the game at one position, and we came back and were favourites. For an English team, for people to even think that we are going to chase down 400 in a day in India in the fourth innings is just a big accomplishment by itself,” Rehan Ahmed concluded.
The third Test between India and England will take place at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot from February 15 to 19.