Khaleel Ahmed must make use of the opportunities, says Irfan Pathan

Khaleel Ahmed must make use of the opportunities, says Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan seems unimpressed with Khaleel Ahmed.

Khaleel Ahmed
Khaleel Ahmed. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India are playing a number of new players in their ongoing T20I series against Bangladesh. The aim is to have a strong bench ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup. Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma defended the move even after the Men in Blue lost their first match by seven wickets saying the shortest format is the most suitable one to try new players before preparing them for the other two longer formats. However, not all newcomers have impressed so far.

Left-arm seamer from Tonk, Rajasthan, Khaleel Ahmed, is one of those youngsters. Having played just 12 T20Is for India till the second T20I in Rajkot, Khaleel averages above 32 and has an economy rate of almost nine in the 20-over format. In the ODIs, too, he hasn’t done too better either by having an average of 31 plus and an economy rate of 5.81.

He has picked 12 wickets in the T20Is and 15 in the ODIs. Having made his first-class debut in 2017, Khaleel has trained under former India captain Rahul Dravid in his U19 playing days and idolizes former left-arm spearhead, Zaheer Khan. Zaheer had spoken highly of Khaleel Ahmed in the past, calling him a potential match-winner who needed to stretch him.

Khaleel Ahmed’s performance in this series has been ordinary

But the experts haven’t been too hopeful about him in this series. Last Sunday, Khaleel conceded 37 runs in four overs. His expensive penultimate over saw Bangladesh running away with the game. The bowler was even trolled brutally on Twitter. On Thursday, too, Khaleel conceded 44 runs in four overs and got the only wicket of Afif Hossain.

According to another former left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan, it is important for the 21-year-old Khaleel to make use of the opportunities that are coming his way. In a tweet, he said, “Important for Khaleel Ahmed to utilize his opportunities well. so far haven’t seen much of an impact from him.”

Irfan Pathan played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is between 2003 and 2012 in which he scored over 2,800 runs and took over 300 wickets. Bangladesh and India will next play third T20I at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur. After completion of T20I series, both the teams will play the two-match Test series.