Rohit Sharma Reveals Why He Chose Khaleel Ahmed To Bowl The 19th Over
India skipper Rohit Sharma raised a number of eyebrows when he handed the ball to Khaleel Ahmed for the 19th over in the first T20I against Bangladesh. With Deepak Chahar’s one over left, it was expected that he would bowl the penultimate over as Bangladesh needed 22 from the last 2 overs. Chahar recently impressed with his death bowling against South Africa and has also been one of the best death bowlers in IPL from the last two seasons.
However, Rohit Sharma sprung a big surprise by giving the ball to Khaleel. The skipper was perhaps confident about his move after seeing the way Khaleel bowled in the 17th over. After conceding a six on the first ball, he had conceded only three in the last five balls in addition to dismissing a well-set Soumya Sarkar.
The onus was now on the left-hander to bowl a good 19th over to keep India alive in the game. However, he failed miserably as his over all but ended the contest. Khaleel started well and conceded two from the first two balls. However, Mushfiqur Rahim hit four consecutive boundaries on the remaining deliveries to put Bangladesh on top.Bangladesh won the first T20I. (Credits: Twitter)
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By the time Khaleel Ahmed ended his over, Bangladesh needed just 4 from the last over. Skipper Mahmudullah then hit the third ball of the final over for a six to end the game. After the game ended, Rohit Sharma explained the idea behind giving the ball to Khaleel instead of Chahar for the crucial over.
Rohit Sharma explained that he relied on Khaleel since both the batsmen were right-handers and the pacer could have taken the ball away from them.
“Looking at their batting lineup, they had three right-handers after number three. I wanted to keep him (Khaleel), to bowl to the right-handers and taking the ball away from them. Because we saw when you use those cutters, it was going away and was gripping a bit. So, that was the thought process,” said Rohit Sharma.
“I didn’t want the spinners to bowl towards the back end. I kept one over of Chahal because he has bowled in that situation before. That was the idea behind keeping Khaleel for the back end,” he added.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, beat India by seven wickets to take the lead in the three-match series.