Delhi Capitals’ pacer Avesh Khan was outstanding in his team’s seven-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 opener at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
The 24-year-old, who returned with figures of 2/23, helped the Delhi franchise restrict CSK to 188/7 in their 20 overs before the Delhi Capitals chased the target down in 18.4 overs.
However, the speedster was particularly thrilled about taking the big wicket of MS Dhoni, who batted for just two balls before he was cleaned up by Avesh. The former India skipper looked to play a pull shot, but only managed to get an inside edge back onto the stumps.
Speaking about the CSK skipper’s wicket, Avesh said that it was his dream to dismiss Dhoni.
“Three years ago, I had a chance to take Mahi bhai’s wicket, but somebody had dropped the catch. But now my dream of taking Mahi bhai’s wicket is fulfilled, so I am very happy about it. Since he has not played competitive matches for some time, we had planned to put pressure on him and because of that pressure I could take his wicket,” said Avesh in an official Delhi Capitals release.
The fast bowler said Delhi Capitals will have to maintain the momentum they have attained after winning their first match of the competition.
“I was quite happy with my performance in our first match, and I am even happier because the team has won. I put the team in a good position with the wickets of Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) and Faf du Plessis. I was happy with the way I carried out the role given to me by the team management. After winning the first match, everyone’s confidence goes up. Now, we have to maintain the momentum,” said Avesh.
Avesh added that Faf du Plessis’ wicket helped him get into a good rhythm. “Rishabh backed me and gave me the second over of the match and I took a wicket in that over itself. A wicket in the initial part of a fast bowler’s spell is really good for his rhythm. du Plessis is a good batsman and if he continued to play, then he would’ve made things difficult for us.”
The 24-year-old revealed he hired a dietician ahead of this IPL to improve his fitness.
“I have reduced my weight by 5 kg. I have hired a personal dietician and I plan my diet according to the dietician’s directions. My diet plan changes on a day-to-day basis, depending on my gym and training sessions and rest days. Improving my fitness has helped me a lot. I am feeling light, and I feel great when I run. I had to sacrifice some of my favourite dishes for 20-25 days, but that has helped me to stay on track for achieving some of my personal goals,” said Avesh.
While speaking about the fast-bowling prowess of the Delhi Capitals, Avesh said the Delhi franchise has the best fast bowling line-up in the IPL.
“I think we have the best fast bowling line-up in the tournament. Kagiso Rabada won the Purple Cap last season, Anrich Nortje bowled the fastest ball in IPL history last season, Ishant Sharma is an experienced bowler and Umesh Yadav has been bowling well in the nets as well. There’s good competition among the fast bowlers in our team,” signed off Avesh.