Former India captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth has come out hard on India pacer Khaleel Ahmed who has been in the spotlight for his below par performance in the ongoing T20I series against Bangladesh.
Khaleel Ahmed has conceded 81 runs in the 8 overs he has bowled for India in the last 2 T20Is with his spells reading 1/37 and 1/44. He also created an unwanted streak in the Rajkot T20I where he had conceded 7 boundaries off his 7 consecutive deliveries in the T20 international. However, despite the underwhelming performance, India persisted with the left-arm pacer in the series decider as well.
“Frankly, Khaleel Ahmed looks a misfit at this level. There is always scope for improvement but he has to learn fast,” Srikkanth wrote for Time of India.
Khaleel Ahmed made his India debut last year against West Indies. However, his numbers in T20I format are highly unimpressive, with him boasting a career economy rate of 9.00 in 13 T20Is, while 5.81 in 11 ODIs.
India have gone into the Bangladesh series without their senior bowlers and an inexperienced bowling unit. Jasprit Bumrah is also absent from the side given his injury.
Srikkanth said India should make a few changes to the bowling department.
“Barring the solitary change at the top, the T20 batting department looks fairly set for Virat Kohli. The bowling resources, however, need some tweaking, especially when the team management feels it’s important to rest the senior bowlers from this format,” he wrote.
“Deepak Chahar looks a different bowler when there is atmospheric help, but in countries like Australia and South Africa, he might find it tough, as the ball does not dart around too much. If he can add a couple of more variations, he could well be the front-runner to fill that one slot.”
The former opener further wrote that India should consider Kuldeep Yadav in the side as according to him the wrist spinners will play an important role in the T20 World Cup in Australia, next year.
Kuldeep Yadav has not played in the last 3 T20I series for India- against West Indies, South Africa and Bangladesh.
“The big prize is, of course, the (T20) World Cup and I’m sure the plan is to work towards that. In my opinion, wrist spinners are going to play a pivotal role and it is high time Kuldeep Yadav is back in the mix.
“The bigger boundaries and bounce in the wicket in Australia should make (Yuzvendra) Chahal and Kuldeep a deadly combination. The case of Kuldeep is curious, a matter of regaining confidence than anything else. And this series would have been ideal to give him some game time. At the same time, Rahul Chahar will also not be a bad choice but Kuldeep’s slightly better experience should weigh in his favour,” added Srikkanth.