By Vivek Prabhakar Singh
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 13 (ANI): With six wins in 12 matches, Delhi Capitals are in the fifth spot in the IPL points table and from here on, every match is crucial for them to qualify for the Play-offs but their leading wicket-taker among pacers Khaleel Ahmed is confident that his team can still make it to play-offs and even win the title.
"When we step out to play as a team then we come with thinking to win every match and the same mindset is there when we are playing such matches. Be it the first match or the final we play only to win but it is not necessary that you win all the matches. But some situations are not under your hands sometimes the decision does not go your way and you are not able to execute the things you want to execute. But our mindset is to win the tournament and I still feel that we can lift the trophy because our team balance is very good. We do not need anything resource-wise. We are like a pack of lions. We trust each other's abilities and we have a lot of confidence in each other's abilities. We have a belief that anyone among us can win us matches and bail us out of any situation and we trust each other a lot. The trust says that we can qualify and win the IPL," said Khaleel Ahmed while speaking exclusively to ANI.
Khaleel Ahmed has bagged a staggering 16 wickets in eight matches for Delhi Capitals but the left-arm pacer is still not satisfied with his performance.
"To be very honest I am happy about my performance but I feel my best bowling is yet to come because my ability is to take wickets. I want at least two to three five-wicket hauls, " said Khaleel Ahmed.
Delhi Capitals not only has a star-studded squad but they also have a support staff with some legends in their ranks led by coach Ricky Ponting who has won two World Cups for his country.
"Experience to play with Delhi Capitals has been amazing so far as when Ricky Ponting used to play for Australia some big bowlers used to play under him. The way he gives us the freedom to bowl. His guidance in cricket is amazing. I become even more confident because if you want to do something and you know that others are backing you then you feel that you are in the right direction. Ricky Ponting has that confidence in me and he gives me that freedom. The strategies which I want to implement are supported by him and that helps me get that performance. When he says that you can do whatever you feel is right then chances of better performance on the field increases," Khaleel Ahmed added.
Khaleel Ahmed is also enjoying playing under young leader Rishabh Pant as they both know each other before playing in IPL.
"I am enjoying playing under Rishabh Pant's captaincy. I have played with him before so the communication with him is very good and Rishabh Pant understands what bowlers want. So, he is not forceful as a captain. He is very flexible and understands whenever he discusses something about cricket. If he feels that bowler is confident then he backs them. In this way, better results come in bowling. So, I feel that he is doing very good. In times to come after captaining more matches he will get better. I like his captaincy because personally, he gives me freedom. He understands the situation and talks about the game of cricket with a lot of sincerity," said Khaleel Ahmed about Rishabh Pant's captaincy.
The team that wins the toss mostly chooses to bowl first due to the dew factor and Khaleel Ahmed also feels that it is difficult to defend a target but his side is preparing itself for any sort of situation as the toss is not in anyone's hand.
"Most of the teams have opted to bat first. So, the dew factor plays a major role in the team as whenever a tight situation comes then it is important for bowlers to have the right execution and there if there is any dew then these things go against you. So, as a team, you want to go to a situation where you can do better so you prefer to bowl and that kind of situation no team wants to face. So, at some point it is really tough for the bowlers be it wrist-spinner, finger spinner or any bowler in yorker execution, slower ball execution becomes difficult under dew. But we are preparing ourselves to bowl under these conditions because it is not necessary that you will win toss every day," explained Khaleel Ahmed.
Indian pacers are having a great time in the IPL with Mohammed Shami leading Gujarat Titans pace attack, Umesh Yadav leading Kolkata Knight Riders attack, Avesh Khan bowling well for Lucknow Super Giants, T Natarajan and Umran Malik excelling for SunRisers Hyderabad giving Indian selectors plenty of options ahead of upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.
"It is great to see that we all Indian pacers are doing so well for our respective teams. I am also happy with my performance. At the end of the day, you have to see what you can do best for your team. So, for me, I always see what best I can do for the team how I can take wickets and how economical I can be a bowler and because of that performance we should win and that is all I can do. So, the thought goes in the direction of what I can do not about the World Cup because there are still two more months to go for the World Cup. So, you need to focus on what you want to do whether you can win for the team or not. Whatever the combination the team wants to play whatever the requirement is best for the team they will play," said Khaleel Ahmed.
The 24-year-old pacer is DC's second-highest wicket-taker of the season so far behind Kuldeep Yadav and he will hold the key to his team's success in the upcoming crucial matches as the tournament has reached its business end.
"I would like to say to Delhi fans that it feels great that they support us and I am 100 per cent sure that we will qualify. We have the belief and you too keep the same faith in us," said Khaleel Ahmed. (ANI)
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