Kolkata: Avesh Khan, the young Delhi Capitals fast bowler, is still over the moon at realising one of his cricketing dreams last Saturday - that of claiming the wicket of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The 24-year-old, who returned with figures of 2/23, took the prized wickets of veteran opener Faf du Plessis and then Dhoni, the talismanic Chennai Super Kings captain, on their way to a thrilling win to start their campaign.
“Three years ago, I had a chance to take Mahi bhai’s wicket but somebody had dropped the catch. But now my dream of taking Mahi bhai’s wicket is fulfilled, so I am very happy about it. Since he has not played competitive matches for some time, we had planned to put pressure on him and because of that I could take his wicket,” said the boyish faced Avesh.
Avesh said that Delhi Capitals, who will take on Rajasthan Royals next on Thursday in Mumbai, will have to maintain the momentum. “I was quite happy with my performance in our first match, and I am even more happy because the team has won. I put the team in a good position with the wickets of Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) and Faf du Plessis. I was happy with the way I carried out the role given to me by the team management. After winning the first match, everyone’s confidence goes up. Now, we have to maintain the momentum.”
The bowler revealed that the South African’s wicket helped him get into a good rhythm, “Rishabh backed me and gave me the second over of the match and I took a wicket in that over itself. A wicket in the initial part of a fast bowler’s spell is really good for his rhythm. Du Plessis is a good batsman and if he continued to play, then he would’ve made things difficult for us.”
During an interaction with the franchise, Avesh said that he hired a dietician ahead of the IPL 2021 to improve his fitness, “I have reduced my weight by five kgs. I have hired a personal dietician and I plan my diet according to the dietician’s directions. My diet plan changes on a day-to-day basis, depending on my gym and training sessions and rest days. Improving my fitness has helped me a lot. I am feeling light and I feel great when I run. I had to sacrifice some of my favourite dishes for 20-25 days, but that has helped me to stay on track for achieving some of my personal goals.”
While speaking about the fast-bowling prowess of the Delhi Capitals, Avesh said that their franchise has the best fast bowling line-up. “I think we have the best fast bowling line-up in the tournament. Kagiso Rabada won the Purple Cap last season while Anrich Nortje bowled the fastest delivery in IPL history last season, Ishant Sharma is an experienced bowler and Umesh Yadav has been bowling well in the nets as well. There’s good competition among the fast bowlers in our team,” he signed off.