Avesh Khan, India”s young pacer with a plan: It is really a sensational sight for the India Cricket fans to see such phenomenal performances of a emerging Indian bowler, Avesh Khan, a 19-year old kid, representing the country in the ICC U19 World Cup, proved instrumental in guiding the team to the final onslaught, looking to win the title for a fourth time.
Avesh, who was a part of Indore Colts Cricket Club, was first spotted as a young 13-year old by Amay Khurasia, his first coach.
Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Khurasia said. “He (Avesh) bowled around 12-15 balls in that particular net session and most of them were outside leg or way outside of. When he was being asked to bowl outside off it was way outside off. But as a 13-year-old kid he was very nippy and got good bounce. So he could surprise with whatever balls he could keep on the stumps, which were very rare. I could see that there was huge potential in him to be a quick bowler. Only Avesh made it to the academy and from thereon he has worked very hard.”
In the ongoing U19 World Cup tournament, Avesh, having played in 5 games, has picked up 11 wickets at an average of 13.81 at a miserly economy of 3.61 an over. This shows the kind of impact he has had on the batsmen who could not take freedom in scoring runs against him.
His best bowling performance in the tournament, thus far, has been 4/32 which he claimed in the game against New Zealand.
Avesh’s stint with opening the bowling attack started with the match against Bangladesh U19 in the tri-series of 2015, played at the Jadavpur University Complex, Kolkata, in which he had an impressive analysis of 6-3-4-4 and drew attention.
The youngster has been having a great chemistry alongwith his bowling partner Khaleel Ahmed and they have been found to be ‘hunting in pairs’.
Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, about their bowling strategy, Avesh said, “We (he and Khaleel) always plan things out and like to build pressure. Sometimes I get wickets sometimes he gets. We say things like “You have to build pressure if they attack me and I will build pressure if they attack you”. In the starting ten overs we try to not let the batsmen hit out. If wickets don”t come we try to give less runs.”
“The team”s plan is to bowl dots in the beginning if we aren”t getting any wickets. We want to give as little runs as possible in the first 10 overs. With the help of that plan only we get wickets. I try to bowl according to the batsman. These are slow wickets so if I offer too much pace to the batsmen, it will make things easier for them”, the youngster added.
The young speedster derives strength from constantly bowling in and around the off-stump area and bringing it sharply into the batsmen.
Avesh made his First Class debut in the game against Railways on 7th December, 2014, in which he had the privilege of bowling in tandem with Ishwar Pandey. Avesh picked up 2 wickets giving away 41 runs in 24 overs in the first innings and also picked up a wicket in 3 overs, giving away 3 runs in the second innings.
Since then he has picked up 15 wickets from 5 games. He has an economy rate of an impressive 2.90 with 4/84 and 6/150 being the best bowling performance in an innings and in a match respectively.
The youngster seems to have learnt to handle pressure by featuring in these First Class games. Khurasia told ESPN Cricinfo, “Good thing about first-class (performances) is that it tells you where you stand immediately at the higher level. For a 17-year-old boy to bowl in first-class cricket was a big thing. He bowled many overs but he was never taken apart. He withstood the pressure and picked wickets. That was very important for him because wickets give you confidence. Not going for too many runs also means you are bowling to a plan and he learnt to keep the ball a little more up. The transition from Under-19 to Ranji can take quite a lot of toll out of you. This boy is good at handling pressure.”
Indian Colts are to take on the winner of the Bangladesh / West Indies semi final encounter in the title clash. Avesh will have a very big role to play in that game and would have to put in his best efforts to ensure that India romp home with the Cup.
Having won the tournament in 2000 (under Moh9d Kaif), in 2008 (under Virat Kohli) and 2012 under (Unmukt Chand), the current skipper Ishan Kishan would also be looking forward to etch his name in history.