When MSD asked Rohit Sharma to let Khaleel Ahmed hold the Asia Cup

When MSD asked Rohit Sharma to let Khaleel Ahmed hold the Asia Cup

Khaleel himself revealed the story later.

Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni
Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mahendra Singh Dhoni might not be the leader of the Indian cricket team anymore but one can’t take the leader out of him. It was revealed once more after the final of the recently held Asia Cup in the UAE where Dhoni had asked captain Rohit Sharma to let youngster Khaleel Ahmed hold the trophy. Rohit obliged and the picture of the debutant lending a hand to uphold the cup created quite a buzz. The world, at the same time, bowed once more before the legendary MSD.

India remained unbeaten in the tournament and defeated arch-rivals Pakistan and a spirited Bangladesh twice besides qualifiers Hong Kong to win the Asia Cup title for the record seventh time. The only game which India could not win was against Afghanistan as it was drawn. Rohit led from the front after he was picked as the captain in the place of Virat Kohli who was rested for the tournament.

I became emotional and will never forget the moment

Ahmed made his international debut in the tournament, playing two matches in which he took four wickets and also scored a crucial run in the game against Afghanistan which was led by Dhoni. The former skipper’s compassion towards the young players was evident once again when he asked the captain to let the newcomers occupy a more prominent space in the team’s success stories.

Khaleel himself revealed the story later in an interview to Times of India. He said: “Dhoni bhai asked Rohit Sharma to let me hold the trophy on the dais. He gave me the trophy because I was the youngest member in the team and it was my debut series. It was a memorable experience for me.”

“When Dhoni bhai and Rohit asked me to hold the winning trophy, I had no words. ”

Ahmed also benefited from Dhoni’s advice in his debut game against Hong Kong which India won closely. After the Hong Kong openers ran to 174 chasing India’s score of 285, it was Ahmed who played a crucial role in pulling things back. He trapped Nizakat Khan, who was looking dangerous, for 92 and India eventually won the game by 26 runs. He said that MSD had asked him to maintain the pace and pitch the ball a bit before.

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