Positives Team India can take from Asia Cup 2018
India clinched victory in a nail-biter against Bangladesh to win its seventh Asia Cup title. India has been ruthless throughout the tournament and has won all the matches played barring a tie with the Afghans due to some hiccups. Cricket pundits doubted whether India would defend the title in the absence of ace batsman Virat Kohli, but the Men in Blue left no room for such criticism after some mouth-shutting performance.
While defending the trophy was number one priority, it was also paramount to give adequate opportunities to the fringe players to justify their place in the national side. Still, there are many areas left exposed where a bit of improvement is needed, but India will have lots of positives to take away from Asia Cup 2018.
#3 Presence of a left-arm fast bowler
A left-arm pacer - isn’t this what team India was deprived off over the past few years?
Zaheer Khan, probably the best left-arm pacer India ever had, played his last ODI six years ago in 2012. It isn’t the case that India has failed to produce left-arm fast-bowler, they had a handful of guys such as Jaydev Unadkat, Sreenath Aravind and Barinder Sran, who were good at the domestic level but failed to impress at the international level.
Khaleel Ahmed has shown the impression of a bright talent at his international debut, just like his idol Zak did. The lanky fast bowler hailing from the Tonk district of Rajasthan made to national side courtesy of his U19 World Cup exploits.
Khaleel was phenomenal in his very first international match, particularly in the second spell where he provided crucial three wickets to restrict flamboyant Hong Kong in making the biggest upset of the tournament. Khaleel can be a secret weapon particularly in the bowler-friendly conditions, and team management will undoubtedly look to keep him in their plans.