India’s newest fast bowler on the block – Khaleel Ahmed had an impressive start to his international career. The left-arm pacer was picked in the squad for the Asia Cup 2018. He featured in India’s first game of the tournament against Hong Kong in which he bagged 3 wickets for 48 runs.
India went on to play the regular pacers in the matches that followed. As a result, Khaleel Ahmed was benched. After winning the matches against Bangladesh and Pakistan, the Men in Blue had qualified for the final. They still had the game against Afghanistan to go.
The team management decided to rest the frontline seamers which gave Khaleel another go in the XI. In another major change that happened, MS Dhoni led the Indian side for the 200th time in ODIs. Rohit Sharma, who was leading the team in the tournament was rested for the game. The vice-captain Shikhar Dhawan was also given a break.
Dhoni leading the side again a couple of years after his retirement proved to be a dream come true for Khaleel. The pacer said that it was always his desire to play under the captaincy of Dhoni and it was his fortune that he got the chance to play in his leadership when he came back to lead the side. The youngster was also elated with the fact that he was chosen to ball the first over of the innings amongst the 3 pacers in the line-up.
Dhoni asked Rohit to let Khaleel Ahmed hold the Asia Cup trophy
India went on to win the Asia Cup and when the trophy was presented to the captain Rohit, he handed that over to Khaleel Ahmed. The left-arm pacer later revealed that it was Dhoni who had asked Rohit to give the trophy to him as he was the youngest in the squad.
“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 of the team and it was my debut series. It was a memorable experience for me,” The Times of India quoted Khaleel as saying.