'It obviously hurt me' - Khaleel Ahmed recalls former Indian cricketer's 4-year-old 'misfit' remark on him

The former Indian cricketer said in 2019 that Khaleel Ahmed looks a misfit at this level and there is always scope for improvement.

Rohit Kumar
New Update
Khaleel Ahmed (Source - Twitter)

Khaleel Ahmed (Source - Twitter)

Indian cricket team always lacked a left-arm pacer ever since the likes of Zaheer Khan, RP Singh and Irfan Pathan retired from international cricket. However, their search came to an end when they found Khaleel Ahmed in the Indian T20 League, who has been performing well for the Delhi-based franchise under Zaheer. He was rewarded for his brilliant bowling ability and received a maiden call in the Asia Cup 2018.

His bowling performance was decent in his initial days but he lacked consistency due to which he lost his place in the team. He was last seen in Blues against Bangladesh in a T20I match in 2019. After this, he was heavily criticised by former Indian cricketer Kris Srikkanth as he conceded 81 runs in just two matches of that series against Bangladesh

“Frankly Khaleel Ahmed looks a misfit at this level. There is always scope for improvement, but he has to learn fast,” Srikkanth had written in his column for The Times of India in 2019.

I do check what people are saying about me: Khaleel Ahmed

Meanwhile, recently in an interaction with former India cricketer Aakash Chopra on Jio Cinema, Khaleel revealed that he didn't like Srikkanth's comments and was hurt but took it as constructive criticism. He also said that now he is a better bowler than earlier as he has improved a lot.

"Yes, I saw this somewhere in the media and it obviously hurt me. I thought that I was also a player from India. I was very young and emotional. I saw it as how I could improve myself," he said. "Currently, these things don't matter to me. I have learned that following the process that you have is the most important. I focus on following a healthy diet and on my practice. I do check what people are saying about me, but it doesn't matter. I laugh it off when it's good, and it's the same even when it's bad." Khaleel said on Aakash Chopra's show in Jio Cinema

When asked about his hopes of a comeback to the Indian team, Khaleel said: "I wasn't that good when I played for India. I believe that I'm a much better bowler now, but I'm not in the Indian team. I am 10 times a better bowler than I was when I played for India. I can read the game better, and I can read the batsman better."

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