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Dhoni’s wicket a dream come true for young DC pacer Avesh

Delhi Capitals’ (DC) young fast bowler Avesh Khan was one of the happiest players around on the field after his team defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by seven wickets in the second match of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The reason for the 24-year-old’s enthusiasm was the wicket of Mahendra Singh Dhoni late on Saturday night. “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 his wicket is fulfilled, so I am very happy about it.”

Avesh said DC’s strategy was to put pressure on the CSK skipper as he had not played ‘competitive cricket for some time. “It was because of the pressure (that) I could take his wicket,” said Avesh, who returned figures of 2/23 and helped the Delhi franchise restrict CSK to 188/7 before chasing down the target in 18.4 overs.

Avesh, who made his IPL debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2017, said that he was very happy with the way he carried out the role given to him. “I am happy with my performance in the first match. I put the team in a good position with the wickets of Mahi Bhai and Faf du Plessis. After winning the first match, everyone’s confidence goes up. Now, we have to maintain the momentum.”

On Rishabh Pant’s captaincy, the right-arm bowler said, “Rishabh backed me and gave me the second over of the match and I took a wicket (of Faf du Plessis) 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 had he continued to play, he would have made things difficult for us.”

On his team’s famed fast-bowling attack, Avesh, who had to take the help of a dietician ahead of IPL 2021 to lose weight and improve fitness, said, “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 a good competition among the fast bowlers in the team,” he said.

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