As India clinched their seventh Asia cup title in a thrilling manner, the scenes of celebration saw a certain Khaleel Ahmed take centre stage with the trophy in hand, enjoying the hard-fought victory that his teammates had achieved.
No wonder it was a special feeling for a youngster like Ahmed, who got to experience international cricket for the very first time held the coveted trophy while his teammates celebrated around him.
However, it came to be known that it was MS Dhoni, who had advised the stand-in captain Rohit Sharma to hand over the trophy to the young Ahmed who was also the youngest player in the Indian 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 Ahmed as saying.
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The young bowler didn’t have a good tournament despite getting to play two matches- against Hong Kong and Afghanistan.
“After we posted 259 against Hong Hong, their openers got off to a brilliant start. A 150-run opening stand was something we didn’t expect. They were hammering me. I had tried almost everything but nothing was working out,” he said.
Revealing how Dhoni’s tip helped him break the opening stand, Ahmed further added,
“Dhoni walked up to me and said ‘ pace maintain kar ke rakh aur thoda aage daal’ (maintain your pace and bowl a bit forward). I tried it twice and it worked for me. Finally, I managed to break the opening stand. We all are lucky to have Dhoni in the team.”
Having acquired an idea or two about international cricket an upbeat Ahmed is keen on returning to the Indian squad for the limited overs’ leg against the West Indies.
“I am happy with the way I performed in the Asia Cup. I hope to play against West Indies at home. Hope I have impressed the selectors. I am excited to play under Virat Kohli,” he added.
Image Source: Times Now