Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Khaleel Ahmed finished as their leading wicket-taker in IPL 2019 with 19 wickets in 9 matches. He says his favourite moment of IPL was taking Virat Kohli’s wicket. Khaleel Ahmed calls the RCB skipper a legend and says this memory would always remain atop his list.
The left-arm pacer took Virat Kohli’s wicket on the M. Chinnaswamy turf in the last campaign of IPL. In the opening over of the match, Bhuvneshwar Kumar took Parthiv Patel’s wicket. The next over was given to Khaleel Ahmed by Captain Kane Williamson, who didn’t disappoint his skipper and got the important wicket of Virat Kohli. The Indian captain was dismissed off the fourth delivery of Khaleel’s over. He came forward and tried to drive towards the off-side, but got an outside edge and gave an easy catch to Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps.
He hit me for a four and then a six, that’s why we call him legend; said Khaleel Ahmed on Virat Kohli
Khaleel Ahmed explained his favourite memory of last year’s IPL campaign with awe and lauding the greatness of Indian skipper Virat Kohli. He knew he had a chance of a wicket with the new ball and didn’t want to disappoint.
“My favourite IPL moment is Virat bhai’s wicket last season. He had hit me for a four off the first delivery of my over and then he hit me for a six off the very next ball. That was a very good ball and he hit me for a classy six over mid on. I had a big smile on my face. That’s why we call him legend. It was an amazing shot. I was under pressure. Bhuvi bhai had taken a wicket in the first over and the second over was given to me. I also wanted to take a wicket with the new ball. I kept my calm. I planned something in my mind and executed it well,” Khaleel told Timesofindia.com in an interview.
“I knew he (Virat) would attack. He came forward to hit me, I bowled a length ball and was a bit slow. He got a thick edge and Saha bhai took the catch behind the stumps. It was an amazing feeling to dismiss a world-class batsman like Virat bhai,” he added.
Khaleel Ahmed Feels Lockdown Affected His Training
The pandemic caused long break has affected every athlete’s mental and physical health to some extent and Khaleel Ahmed feels the same. He thinks that the players weren’t able to train how they should have and could only resort to home or gym based training. They missed being on the field doing their regular training to improve their game.
“Honestly, we all haven’t been able to prepare the way we had in the previous editions. It’s all because of COVID-19. We all were confined at home and did exercise at home and followed the trainer’s instructions. Everyone did their best in these four months to remain fit but a cricketer needs to go to the ground for practice,” Khaleel Ahmed said.
That’s something we all missed. Team bonding is another factor we all missed out on. Ahead of every season, all team members used to meet, practice and have fun together. This was also missing. I worked a lot on my swing these days. I practiced at my home or nearby ground. I am hoping to get swing in the UAE,” Khaleel Ahmed added.
Khaleel Ahmed will be looking ahead to win the IPL this season with Sunrisers Hyderabad by repeating his form from last year.