Having shown glimpses of his talent and yet struggle in the first two T20I against Australia, young left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed has said that he coming to terms with the pace and bounce conducive surfaces down under and is seeking guidance from the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar for it.
There's a lot of talent in Khaleel and it is exactly what has captured the team management's imagination. But he is still an inexperienced player, with just 6 ODIs and 5 T20Is behind him, and is dealing with the tough realms of International Cricket.
Khaleel returned with figures of 1/42 and 2/39 from his eight overs at Gabba and the MCG, respectively.
"Conditions are different here. Against the West Indies or in Asia Cup, we played in subcontinent and in familiar grounds," the 20-year-old was quoted saying, "When you come to Australia, there weren't many practice sessions and it isn't easy to figure out which line/length is the best option here."
"So it isn't easy to come and play here. If you don't have ample practice sessions and then suddenly play T20 matches where batsmen own the game, it is a bit difficult."
"And you cannot even get relaxed against a team like Australia because they fight until the end as their lower order showed today," he added.
Nevertheless, Khaleel has very good raw materials to work with and he exhibited that by getting his own back over explosive players like Chris Lynn and D'Arcy Short on Friday. The left-armer is quite pleased about it too.
He said, "I have learnt a lot in the past few months, especially how to prepare for a game and how seriously you need to take this profession. I have learnt three things - professionalism, maturity and responsibility from the senior bowlers and support staff," before stressing, "Someone like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, he is a strike bowler at the moment and leads the team with responsibility that he needs to take wickets."
"He bowls to a particular line and length, and this is something you get to learn from him - how to bowl with so much responsibility as he bowls in all formats."
Khaleel also gave an insight into how the team atmosphere is like after the disappointing narrow miss in Brisbane and being denied by the rain at Melbourne, and said, "Rain disappointed us because it breaks momentum especially when you know what the target is. Because of rain targets can vary from bigger to smaller and it gets frustrating as a team when you go out to bat after a weather break."
"The target was low because we bowled well. We could have won the game with a good batting performance. But unfortunately, rain didn't help."
"Dressing room spirits are high because we know we have played well in both games and can do the same in the last game as well. So, in the third game we aim to play even better and try to draw the series on Sunday," he signed off.
Australia now leads the three-match series, 1-0.
The third T20I at Sydney will be played on Sunday, November 25.
(Inputs from PTI)