Adil Khan's story, from being out of the reckoning for the national team after making his debut under Wim Koevermans in 2012, to making a comeback under current manager Igor Stimac in the King's Cup in 2019 is inspirational.
Plagued by multiple injuries through his career, Adil Khan has always found a way of bouncing back from adversity. Speaking on an Instagram live interview with the official Indian football team channel, Khan spoke about how it was great to be back in the national team at the age of 32. He also spoke about his partnership with fellow centre-back Sandesh Jhingan.
"What can I say about Sandesh? We already know how powerful he is. He is the iron man of the (national) team, has a strong mentality and is very professional. I've seen a lot of changes in him over the years. When I first saw him playing for United Sikkim, he was very young back then but still very strong and tough," Adil Khan said.
"Before, we had seen each other play for different clubs. But playing with him in the national team, that was when we started training together in the national team camps. We started building a bond and understanding each other's game," continued Khan.
"I know how powerful he is. And even off the pitch, we are talking a lot, in the canteen, for example, so we're understanding each other better. I would like to keep playing more and more matches with him because when he is around, I feel secure as a central defender," said Adil Khan.
Adil Khan and Sandesh Jhingan formed a formidable partnership at the back for India during the King's Cup in Thailand in 2019 and kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory against the home team. Jhingan even went on to say that Khan was the man of the match for him.
The respect between the two then is clearly mutual, as Adil Khan further praised him and explained the chemistry between the two on the pitch.
"To share a partnership with him in central defence is special for me," Khan said. "When I am playing with him, I think we both try to cover each other's mistakes. We are strong defensively and even in the air. In the national team, we form a good defensive wall. He's back from injury so I wish him a good ISL season."
"Sandesh is is very loud when he comes on the pitch and he guides all the players in the team. Despite me being senior to him, I still give him that opportunity to talk because he is louder than me. In the future, Sandesh and Gurpreet (Singh Sandhu) and I are looking forward to keeping a lot of clean sheets as a unit," added Khan.
Adil Khan will be part of the Hyderabad FC team in the upcoming Indian Super League season and will hope for a better campaign than the previous season, where the team finished bottom of the points table.Published 15 Oct 2020, 22:06 IST