Zaheer Khan advises Khaleel Ahmed to learn from Bumrah’s evolution

Khaleel made a good start to the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy.

Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Since the days of Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, India have tried quite a few left-arm pacers although none of them has cemented a place in the Indian team. From Barinder Sran to Jaydev Unadkat to Khaleel Ahmed, the list has quite a few of them. Of them, 21-year-old Khaleel made an impressive debut in the Asia Cup in the UAE last year and did well in the home series against the Windies.

But he was not in the same league during the recent series in Australia and New Zealand and there is a question mark over the Rajasthan bowler’s inclusion in India’s World Cup squad. Khaleel though had a good start to his campaign in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament on Thursday by taking 3 wickets for 14 runs against Tamil Nadu and one might assume the youngster has heard what former pacer Zaheer had to say about him.

The 40-year-old former pacer who has close to 600 international wickets said Khaleel needs to learn more from his Team India mate Jasprit Bumrah for a perfect evolution.

“If you have that variation (left-armer’s), it’s certainly an advantage but you don’t have to go crazy about trying to find a left-armer. It is all about contributing to the team’s cause. Left-arm pacers are natural talent and you don’t have control over when you will get one,” cited reports as quoting Zaheer.

Khaleel has talent, important how quickly he learns

Talking about the technical part, Zaheer said Khaleel was on the shorter side. He said the bowler has to pitch the ball up in swing-friendly conditions but gave Khaleel a benefit of doubt saying it is still early days in his career. Zaheer said there is no doubt about Khaleel’s talent and also stressed on how quickly Bumrah learns. “Look at Bumrah and how he has evolved as a bowler and you get a comparison,” he said.

Bumrah was initially considered a shorter-format specialist but his rise through the ranks in Test cricket has been phenomenal last year. Yet without playing a Test at home, Bumrah delivered exceptionally well abroad and took 49 scalps in 10 matches at an average of below 22.

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