Dubai: India held their nerves to beat Bangladesh in a thrilling Asia Cup 2018 finale in September. It was a special moment for youngster Khaleel Ahmed who won his first tournament after receiving a maiden call-up to the national squad.
Not only that, he was even seen holding the winning trophy on the stage when the Men in Blue received the award. However, it was because MS Dhoni urged stand-in captain Rohit Sharma to hand the trophy to the youngest member in the team.
"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," Khaleel was quotes as saying by The Times of India.
Despite playing only two games against minnows Hong Kong and Afghanistan, things were not going well for the left-arm speedster on his debut.
"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.
"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," he added.
Having made an impression in Dubai, Khaleel is now targeting a return for the limited-overs series against 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," the 20-year-old continued....