Khaleel Ahmed looks a misfit who needs to learn fast, believes K Srikkanth

Krishnamachari Srikkanth believes that India should make a few changes to the bowling department, and hopes that with few more variations, Deepak Chahar can be a front-runner to fill the slot.

Krishnamachari Srikkanth was full of criticism whilst talking about Khaleel Ahmed and his performances in the ongoing T20I series against Bangladesh, the last of which is being played in Nagpur on Sunday.

Writing for Times of India, Srikkanth penned, “Frankly, Khaleel Ahmed looks a misfit at this level. There is always scope for improvement but he has to learn fast.”

The 21-year-old left-arm pacer broke into the national setup last year, and has, since then, fast-tracked into the Indian squad for the shortest format. However, he has not been impressive of late, most notably, against Bangladesh in the last two T20Is in New Delhi and Rajkot, where he conceded 81 runs in just eight overs.

His numbers in Twenty20 International matches are quite bleak, with him boasting a career economy rate of 9.00 in 13 T20Is, while it’s 5.81 in 11 ODIs.

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The 59-year-old former opener also believes that India should make a few changes to the bowling department, especially when the senior bowlers have been rested.

“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 further 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,” noted Srikkanth.

Moving away from the topic of pace bowlers, Srikkanth advocated for the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav before the T20 World Cup in Australia next year, as he believes wrist spinners will play an important role.

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“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.

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