Though there are many bowlers, who did well for the Indian cricket, the first name that comes to the mind of the Indian cricket fans when they were asked to pick the best bowler of India, it would be Zaheer Khan. He used to be the breakthrough bowler for India across the formats around the globe. Meanwhile, Khaleel Ahmed wants to be such bowler for India.
Ever since Zaheer Khan’s retirement from international cricket, India has been lacking a quality left-arm pacer which launched Khaleel Ahmed’s selection in the Indian side earlier than he would have expected.
Khaleel too has always credited Zaheer Khan as his idol and how he always tried to emulate him in his career. He once again repeated the same sentiments after a successful return to the Indian side for the Windies series.
I want to take my game to Zaheer Khan level – Khaleel Ahmed
Khaleel Ahmed has stated that he wants to emulate Zaheer Khan and if he can serve the team like the way the latter did, he would be really happy. Khaleel is a part of India’s T20I and ODI squad currently touring the USA and West Indies after missing out on the ICC World Cup squad.
“I want to play as long as Zaheer bhai played for the country. I want to serve Team India the way he did. When Zaheer bhai used to start proceedings for India, there used to be lots of excitement and cheer. I want to take my game to that level. I also want to become an asset for the team just like he was,” Khaleel told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
“Whenever I am in doubt, I call him (Zaheer), he is always available. Team India has given me that three-star jersey and I want to justify my inclusion. I want to serve my country with sweat, sacrifice, hard work and determination,” he said.
The 21-year-old has shown a lot of promise in the limited-over formats for the Men in Blue ever since making his senior international debut in September 2018 at the Asia Cup. While he is not an automatic starter yet, he has been making the team regularly and has played 8 ODIs and 11 T20 internationals