Karsan Ghavri Terms Khaleel Ahmed As Next Zaheer Khan
By CricShots - Nov 13, 2018 11:14 am
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The young Indian pacer, Khaleel Ahmed is a complete mixture of aggression, guile and raw pace and hence he ticks all the right boxes required for a genuine fast bowler. Ever since India sprung a surprise by introducing the prodigious left-arm pacer from the small town of Tonk in Rajasthan at the Asia Cup this year, Khaleel has shown immense talent.

Khaleel Ahmed

In the Asia Cup this year, Khaleel scalped three wickets in his debut ODI against Hong Kong and added one more against Afghanistan in the Super Four stage. In six ODIs – two in the Asia Cup and four against West Indies – he has claimed 11 wickets, while in the recently-concluded T20Is against the 20-year-old took three wickets.

Being fast-tracked into the senior Indian squad after impressing in limited-overs cricket for India A speaks of Khaleel’s skill, reckons former India left-arm pace bowler Karsan Ghavri.

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As per the reports in Cricket Country, Ghavri said, “Khaleel Ahmed is a bright prospect for India. He’s got good control of his line, length and has good accuracy. He’s been able to swing the ball with that kind of speed which is very important because the pace is not everything. If Khaleel can generate speed and swing consistently, he’s even more dangerous. He has got the ability to swing the ball both ways – the in-swinger, out-swinger – and he’s got a good bouncer and generates good speed. He’s a very versatile bowler and can do well for India provided he looks after his body and stays away from injuries.”

Ever since the retirement of Zaheer, Team India is in a search of a genuine left-arm quick, there have been a few who have auditioned for the role like Jaydev Unadkat and Barinder Sran, but none could impress the way Khaleel has since he made his international debut in Dubai.

Karsan Ghavri

With the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup next year, Khaleel seems to be bagging his place in the squad. He can be an asset for next summer’s showpiece event in England. Talking about the same, Ghavri, who bagged 109 wickets in 39 Tests, said, “Zaheer Khan was a very good fast bowler for India. If somebody has taken more than 200 wickets [Zaheer took 282 wickets in 200 ODIs], he has to be good. After a long time after Zaheer Khan, India has found another good left-handed fast bowler.”

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Khaleel’s next assignment is the series against Australia where he has been named in the T20I squad and the former pacer reckons that the move will not help the bowler flourish as in T20 format the bowlers or the batsmen hardly get any time to settle down. For Khaleel, the real format for him is Test cricket or maybe, even an ODI game.

Ghavri concluded, “In a T20 match, you just bowl four overs and hardly get time to settle down. If he gets himself in for a 50-over match or in Tests, it will be better for him. I am sure he will eventually get that spot, but he should be playing in the longer version of the game. Khaleel should have been named in the ODI squad and Test squad, rather than the T20I series. The team management should watch Khaleel perform in the 50-over game and if his performances are good, then automatically he graduates to Test cricket.”