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‘Had intuition that something good would happen’ – Khaleel Ahmed on long-awaited India return

Khaleel Ahmed. (Source -IPL)

The Delhi Capitals’ pacer Khaleel Ahmed is enjoying a splendid run in the IPL 2024, having picked up 14 wickets in 12 matches thus far. The left-arm pacer, who last played for India in December 2019, has made a well-deserved return to the national team, earning a spot as a standby for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

He spoke at length about his journey to earn a place back in the Indian team and shared his thoughts on the high-scoring matches in the ongoing IPL season.

India call-up – Khaleel saw it coming

“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. 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,” the 26-year-old pacer stated during Episode 3 (Season 4) of the DC Podcast.

Every day was like a battle

Reflecting on what was a challenging journey, the Delhi Capitals pacer said, “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.”

Also read: IPL Purple Cap 2024

“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,” he added.

Embracing the high-scoring IPL challenge

“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,” he stated.  

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