In four IPL seasons from 2017 to 2020, Avesh Khan had featured in a combined 9 matches; in IPL 2021 alone, he has played in 8 matches for the Delhi Capitals.
Avesh Khan reveals it was the head coach Ricky Ponting who had told him ahead of the 14th edition of the tournament that he will not only start but also that his time has come to flourish in the IPL.
The pacer repaid the faith by picking up 14 wickets, including those of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, in 8 games, and is the joint second-highest wicket-taker so far, before the suspension of the season. In fact, he didn’t go wicketless any game, and his economy of 7.70 and strike rate of 12.86 are laudable.
Avesh Khan credits Ponting for his success and is grateful for always backing him in the past few seasons since he took over as the Capitals’ coach.
“Ricky sir has always backed me. I have been associated with him for some time now, so he knows me well. Last two seasons we have been doing well, we qualified for the playoffs, played the final last season. Even during this season, we won six out of eight matches. He backs all his young players, speaks to them before and after the games,” Avesh Khan told CricketNext.
“He gives his inputs on how we can improve ourselves. During team meetings, he’s very positive. Personally, he is fond of me and backs me. Before my first match this season, he told me that my time has come, I know you will do well. You have learned a lot so now the time has come for you to deliver,” he added.
Since my U-19 days, I had this target to represent my country: Avesh Khan
Following his impressive show in the IPL 2021, and on the back of his superb domestic numbers – 100 wickets in 26 First-Class matches – the 24-year-old is rewarded with inclusion in the national set-up. Avesh Khan is one of the 4 reserve players to fly to England for India’s Test assignments.
While his chances of making it into the eleven are bleak – but can never be ruled out – the seamer expresses his desire to represent his country, which has been his dream since he started playing under-19 cricket.
“From the day, I wore the U-19 India jersey, my dream has always been to play for India. There’s no specific age to play for India as such. Wearing the national team’s jersey and cap gives an altogether different feeling. Since my U-19 days, I had this target to represent my country as soon as possible,” the Madhya Pradesh speedster stated.
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