Kolkata: He touched 139.8kmph against Pakistan in the last Under-19 World Cup. At six feet two inches, he bowls raw pace and his weapon, a sharp offcutter that defined India’s 82-run win over Bangladesh in the U-19 Triseries one-day cricket tournament here. Meet India’s young pace gun – Avesh Khan, an unassuming 18-year-old from Indore, who wants to create his own identity.
“I can’t name any, I’ve many favourites but no idol. I want to be like myself,” Khan said after his 6-3-4-4 bowled India to a bonus-point victory at the Jadavpur University second campus ground in Saltlake. “Medium pace is not my forte. I just want to bowl pace.
Today I’m not sure about the speed as it’s not measured here. But yes against Pakistan in the World Cup 2014 in UAE I had clocked 139.8kmph.” Having been groomed by former India left-hander Amay Khurasiya at Indore, Khan is now revelling under the tutelage of Indian batting legend Rahul Dravid who is the coach of U-19 side.
Besides being hardworking, Khan today showed why he’s a good learner as well. After being skittled out for 158 in 45.3 overs, India U-19 were in a spot of bother in the opening match of the Triseries but Dravid told Khan ‘forget the result, just bowl stump-to-stump’.
He did just that and gave India a first-ball breakthrough when his sharp in-cutter castled Mohammad Saif Hasan and he went on to claim a wicket in each of his first four overs as Bangladesh could not recover from the terror to be bundled out for 76 in 22 overs.
“At the break, Rahul sir told me not to look at the total or the result and just bowl stump to stump. The idea was to give the team early breakthroughs and not let any partnership going. It worked for us.” He further said the presence of Dravid in the dressing room is a huge boost for the entire side.
“He reads the game perfectly and tells us where to bowl from a batsman’s point of view,” said Khan, son of an Indore-based businessman, said. “Previously too I had many first ball dismissals but never in an International match.
This one will remain special,” he said about the first ball wicket. Inspired by his father, who played cricket at local level, Khan joined Indore Colts Cricket Club at the age of 14 before he was picked up by Khurasiya at the state academy. “Whatever I’m today is because of Amay sir. He is the guiding force and has supported me immensely,” he concluded.