"It's a step ahead for me:" Delhi Capital's Khaleel Ahmed after T20 World Cup selection

Khaleel Ahmed, the 26-year-old left-arm pacer from Rajasthan made a comeback into the Indian side after a good IPL 2024 with Delhi Capitals. Khaleel last played for India in 2019.

Koushik Biswas
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It's a step ahead for me: Delhi Capital's Khaleel Ahmed after T20 World Cup selection -
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Khaleel Ahmed last played for the Indian cricket team in December 2019. After a long wait of 5 years, the left-arm pacer has made a comeback into the Indian side after he was named in the reserves for the Indian squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and West Indies. After a good start of 14 wickets in 12 matches in IPL 2024, Khaleel shared his thoughts on Episode 3 (Season 4) of the DC Podcast.

Khaleel currently sitting at number twelve in the Purple Cap race and has been one of the best bowlers for the Delhi Capitals franchise alongside Kuldeep Yadav and Mukesh Kumar. After a recall from the Indian cricket team, Khaleel revealed that he was confident of the comeback after a good start to the season. "The way the past few months were going and the way the IPL started, I had the intuition that something good would happen. As the IPL matches progressed, my confidence continued to grow," Khaleel said in the podcast.

"I realised I was bowling well, and it has always been about moving one step ahead. Finally, when the name came, I was so happy, and it's a step ahead for me," he added.

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Missed that feeling of playing for the country

But, the comeback was never an easy battle for the 26-year-old pacer from Rajasthan. He shared that he missed the feeling of playing for the country and used to imagine what he would have done in certain situations whenever he used to see the men in blue play. 

"2019 was a long time ago. Every day, at the back of my mind, I missed that feeling of playing for the country. Every time I used to watch India play, I used to imagine what I would have done if I was there in the team. So, every day was like a battle and these kinds of conversations were going on inside my head."

"After the last IPL, I took only a week's break and embarked on this journey. I made sure I played all the domestic matches. It's tough as a fast bowler, but I made up my mind that irrespective of what happens to me, I'm going to play all the matches. I pushed myself mentally in the past year and have grown with it.

"Mentally, you just have to fight for it, day, night or any time, because my life has always been about cricket. My thoughts have only been about cricket, nothing else bothers me," Khaleel expressed.

Best time for fast bowlers to come to light

This IPL season has been one of the highest-scoring seasons ever. But even with so many games with over 230 runs scored in an inning, Khaleel feels it is the best moment for the fast bowlers to come to glory. 

"I believe this is the best moment for the fast bowlers to come to light. If a bowler performs in tough situations like these, he will be considered a King, and I want to be that King. So, this is what my mentality has been about the current scenario," Khaleel said.  

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