When Avesh Khan was bought for a massive INR 10 Crores in the auction ahead of the IPL 2022, it was surprising but not shocking. His past year IPL performance was so impressive that he was expected to create a bidding war. He has been in the league since 2017 but he was unleashed by Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021. He went on to play 16 matches for them taking 24 wickets at an average of 18.75.
In his previous franchise, he was supported by the likes of Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Ravichandran Ashwin. But amid all those prime bowlers, Khan was being utilized time to time due to his ability to ball effectively at different stages of the innings. He was emerging as a brilliant death bowling option which was why Delhi Capitals used him the most at the death overs, more than any one else. Avesh Khan has been impressing all since his Under-19 days in 2016. He was part of the Under-19 World Cup team that failed to win the Cup that year but gave platform to multiple talented cricketers. Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Wahsington Sundar to name a few of them along with Avesh Khan. That was not the first time for him to represent India at that stage. He was featured earlier in 2014 but had played only two games. But in 2016, he played six games to bag 12 wickets.
Since then, the tall fast bowler from Madhya Pradesh became a familiar name in the Indian Premier League. In 2017, he was first purchased by Royal Challengers Bangalore before moving to Delhi Capitals in 2018. After playing only one match for the RCB, in 2018 Khan played six games for Delhi to scalp four wickets. However, it was only in 2021 that he emerged as match-winner and kept playing for the side as a specialist bowler at the death.
The new franchise is already using Khan as a prime bowling option and KL Rahul proved the same yesterday against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Khan failed to defend 10 runs in the final over of the match against Gujarat Titans and Lucknow lost their season opener. After that, trusting the same bowler in the 18th over with more experienced bowlers available to bowl was commendable from the team management and captain. They decided to trust Avesh Khan as their key bowler and he delivered. He went on to dismiss two major batters including Nicholas Pooran batting on 34 and tilted the match towards Lucknow. His first two wickets came in the Powerplay and next two in the death overs. With his height and built, Khan is able to generate very good pace and bounce from the pitches and should continue to provide them with key breakthroughs.
Khan has already debuted for India in the T20I and played two matches so far. But on both occasions, he got to feature in the final games after India already clinching the series. However, after such consistent performance, Avesh Khan can slowly become one of the weapons for Indian cricket team in major matches going forward.