June 6, 2023

Over the years Indian cricket has had some very talented left-arm fast bowlers. The likes of Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Irfan Pathan have been standout match-winners for India. The likes of Barinder Sran and Jaydev Unadkat didn’t manage to cement a place in the Indian team.

SCHEDULE: India’s tour of West Indies

The 21-year-old Khaleel Ahmed is someone who, since his limited-overs debut in September 2018, has shown signs of perhaps maturing into a bowler who can be a regular part of India’s fast-bowling arsenal.

The youngster from Tonk in Rajasthan is raring to go the Zaheer Khan way. Zaheer, who at one time was India’s pace bowling spearhead and had a 14-year international career, is Khaleel’s idol.

“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,” Khaleel said.

“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.

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