I'm expecting a Test call-up for Caribbean tour: Avesh Khan [Exclusive Interview]

In an exclusive interview with Crictracker, Avesh Khan reveals the reason behind his aggressive celebration after winning against RCB in IPL 2023.

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Avesh Khan.
Avesh Khan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

While steaming through the streets of Indore playing countless gully cricket matches, the eyes of a young Avesh Khan were always beaming with a dream of representing India at the international level one day. The teenager took a giant leap towards his dream as he got to don the coveted ‘Blue Jersey’ for the first time in the 2014 under-19 World Cup, in UAE. Aged 19, he finished as the highest wicket-taker for his side in the 2016 U-19 WC, having sent 12 batters back into the pavilion in six matches.

The success was just a stepping stone towards his dream, as in following years the right-arm seamer left his mark in domestic cricket with numerous breathtaking performances. Furthermore, he grabbed eyeballs by finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League 2022 edition (IPL 2022), by scalping 24 wickets. Avesh’s years of doing hard yards finally came to fruition as a nobody from Indore became an international cricketer and realized his dream during the third T20I against West Indies on February 20, 2022. 

The debut outing may have been a forgettable one for the 25-year-old, however, it gave birth to a hunger inside of him which could only be satisfied after becoming a successful international cricketer. There are still many chapters to unfold in Avesh’s exhilarating journey on the cricket field and the youngster is doing everything possible to etch his name in golden words in cricketing history.

CricTracker got a chance to delve deep into the ambitions and mindset of Avesh Khan, as he opened up on his challenges as a cricketer, his time in Lucknow Super Giants and his famous celebration against RCB.  

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

What sets LSG apart from other teams in IPL?

LSG is a great franchise, the environment in the dressing room is always relaxed. We don’t have many team meetings nether for batters or bowlers, we just discuss about few points. The Head coach, Andy Flower, always keeps the environment light and leaves it upon the players to decide how much should they practice before a game.  We enjoy a lot as a team and have several team events which helps us gel better as a side.

How has the experience been under Gautam Gambhir?

I love Gautam Bhai’s attitude as he’s always straightforward. He just talks for a minute or two but is always to the point. He explains everything and shares his experience with us. I’ve had a great experience with him as he likes me a lot and encourages me to bowl fast ‘No matter how many runs you give, your attitude should always be of a fast bowler’.

How do you rate this season's IPL performance with 8 wickets in 9 matches?

The recent IPL was an average season for me as I could pick just eight wickets from nine matches and couldn’t even play all the games. I’m really disappointed with myself as I was the highest wicket-taker for Lucknow (18 wickets) in 2022 and the second-highest wicket-taker (24 wickets) of the season in 2021. I wanted to have another successful season, however, things didn’t work in my favour. I’m really disappointed with it but I’ve analysed my mistakes and will make sure it doesn’t happen next year.

Take us through your celebration against RCB in Bangalore.

The celebration against RCB was a bit rough I think. "I realized later on that I shouldn’t have done that because it doesn’t look good but it happened in the heat of the moment. Our entire team was pumped-up as we had a nail-biting finish in RCB’s home ground with chants of ‘RCB! RCB!’ all around with only a handful of Lucknow supporters. I shouldn’t have gotten carried away in the heat of the moment."

What are the physical and mental tolls faced by fast bowlers juggling between international and domestic cricket?

“Yes, it’s very challenging both physically and mentally as you play both international and domestic cricket. I’ve been playing international cricket for two years and last season I played domestic cricket. We have to deal with the change of batters and adapt to different weather conditions. You’re always tested as a fast bowler as you continuously play cricket for entire 12 months which is not an easy task. However, you should learn to manage it because sometimes you play with the white ball and other times with the red ball. Both formats have different lines and lengths, the red ball swings a lot more than the white one. I always try to bowl as per the conditions.”

Would you consider your spell of 7/24 against Hyderabad your best with the red ball?

“Yes, that was my best spell as I took 12 wickets during that game which are my best figures. During that game, there was one world record as well which was registered by Ajay Rohilla with his innings of 264. I couldn’t get the Player of the Match award despite taking 12 wickets. However, since he made the world record he played really well. It was a flat track and I enjoyed bowling on it. It was a challenging situation as a fast bowler. But I managed to pick seven wickets in the first innings and five in the second.”

With Seven Five-wicket hauls & 2 10-wicket hauls with over 130 wickets in FC cricket, when do you expect yourself to be a part of the India red-ball setup?

“Yes whenever I’ve played red ball, I’ve picked wickets. This year I picked 42 wickets in nine matches. Last season, since I was playing for India, I couldn’t play Ranji Trophy. However, the season before Covid I picked 28 wickets in five games and before that 35 wickets in seven matches. I’m trying to stay fit and play red-ball cricket because playing Test cricket for India is a huge achievement and Test cricket is considered as real cricket. I love playing it as I bowl long spells even in Ranji Trophy. If I get selected after my performances it will be great.”

India will be touring West Indies do you consider yourself to be part of that squad?

“Yes, I’m hoping to get selected but it’s not in my hands. I can only work hard and will try to give my best in the upcoming Duleep Trophy. I’m preparing for it continuously. I’m constantly working on improving my bowling and trying to perform at my best. I always look to enjoy my game and focus on taking wickets. If I start thinking about selection then my mind will get diverted to that. I put my mind on only one thing which is performing.”




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