IPL 2022: ‘Ricky Ponting has always backed me’ says Avesh Khan;
IPL 2022: Madhya Pradesh pacer Avesh Khan has said that the legendary Australian captain and the head coach of team Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Ricky Ponting has always backed him.
The Delhi Capitals franchise did not retain Avesh Khan, who was the second-highest wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League 2021 with 24 wickets, ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction.
Speaking to Boria Majumdar on ‘Backstage with Boria’, Avesh said that Ponting has always supported him and told him that he will definitely play for India. He said:
“Ricky Ponting, on the day of my first match, put his hands on my shoulders and said ‘This is your time. Now you have to prove yourself because you have been with the team for four years.’
“He has always backed me. It’s not like just because I didn’t play matches earlier so I was just made to bowl in the nets. He always encouraged me. He always told me that I’d play for India.”
The pacer added that the Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach always kept telling him to stay ready for his chance. He explained:
“He kept telling me to stay ready for my chance. Because I was always among the 12-13 players who would be selected wouldn’t be able to make my way to the playing XI, but last year I got to play from the first match and I could live up to his expectations.”
Avesh said that the Indian Premier League 2021 was a fantastic season for him, and his inclusion in the playing XI was made possible by the absence of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Ishant Sharma at the start of the tournament. He said:
“IPL 2021 was great for me as I was the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Even before that, I was with the Delhi Capitals for three years, but I did not get as many opportunities. In the last two years, I had played just two matches, so I did not get a chance to show my talent.
“But last year, as Rabada and Nortje were unavailable for the first two matches and Ishant had a slight injury and was also unavailable, I had a good chance and because I had been there for three years.”
He added that besides the DC head coach Ponting the skipper of Delhi Capitals Rishabh Pant also backed him a lot. He elaborated:
“Ricky Ponting trusted me and especially Rishabh, Rishabh backed me quite a lot and told me that ‘you have these two matches to prove yourself, after that you have to make your spot in the team’. After that, I had belief in my hard work, that I would do well and make my place in the team and perform and help the team win matches. I just needed that opportunity to prove myself.”
Avesh also talked about his first match in the IPL 2021, where he dismissed Faf du Plessis and MS Dhoni and said:
“As a player, if you play from the first match for any team, you become a main player for the team. And in a stage like the IPL, I got the chance to play from the first match and it was a great chance to prove myself, and in the first match itself I dismissed Faf du Plessis and Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni), so I got a lot of confidence as well. After that, I just continued to perform like that and looked to improve myself and learn from my mistakes.”