Khaleel Ahmed is overjoyed to return to Indian colours after a prolonged absence

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Khaleel Ahmed

Khaleel Ahmed, the left-arm pacer from Delhi Capitals, has made a triumphant return to the Indian cricket team after a hiatus of four and a half years. The 26-year-old cricketer has been named as a standby for the upcoming T20 World Cup. This selection comes on the back of his impressive performances for the Delhi Capitals in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), where he has picked up 14 wickets in 12 matches.

Khaleel Ahmed’s resurgence to sublime form

Reflecting on his journey on DC Podcast, Khaleel said, “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 realized 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”.

“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,” he added.

However, the road to this point was not easy. Khaleel described his time away from the national team as a tough mental battle. “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.”

Despite the challenges, Khaleel remained committed to his goal. After the last IPL, he took just a week’s break and 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.”

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