India vs Bangladesh: The 19-yr-old Delhi boy who dismissed Rohit Sharma and castled Shikhar Dhawan in India’s net session
It was a mere trundle, and a nice smooth release of the ball. It pitched just outside the off stump around good length, it did not seam, did not shape much yet did just enough to compliment the bounce and took the outside edge of Rohit Sharma’s bat. Rohit was a tad lethargic in his feet movement but that takes nothing away from the delivery.
A few minutes later Shikhar Dhawan was beaten all ends up by a fuller length delivery that once again moved to perfection to sneak through gap between bat and pad. Unlike Rohit, Dhawan was guilty of playing a flashy shot that wasn’t on. India’s two famed white-ball openers were dismissed. This is not the scene of an ODI or a T20I on a green track. In fact, it didn’t happen in a match at all, let alone an international one. Rohit and Dhawan were left fetching for answers in a net session ahead of the first T20I against Bangladesh. And the bowler was a 19-year-old Delhi cricketer, it was his claim to fame. He looked slightly lost, slightly in awe, but, well, in cricketing terms, he had made his presence felt.
Right-arm medium pacer Keshav Dabas dismissed Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan – still considered to be a task at least in white-ball cricket – in quick succession. Keshav, for his part, didn’t even known how to react to it. He raised his right-arm for a brief period after finding the outside edge of Rohit’s bat but brought it down immediately as if he wished to undone everything. Like a true senior pro, Rohit picked up the ball and threw it back towards Keshav, something which he doesn’t do that often.
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That did very little to inject courage of a mild celebration in Keshav. When he castled Dhawan, he just walked back quietly after picking up the ball.
“It’s a great feeling… Ab kya bolu samajh nei aa raha,” Keshav told Hindustan Times later.
Keshav’s bowling even earned a ‘well bowled’ from India head coach Ravi Shastri and a ‘which club do you play for?’ question from India fast bowler Shardul Thakur. “No, I did not hear the praise from Ravi Shastri sir but yes Shardul Thakur did ask me about my whereabouts,” said Keshav with a sheepish smile.
This was the first time he got an opportunity to bowl at Indian cricketers. Previously he was an official net bowler when Australia came here to play an ODI earlier this year.19-year-old Keshav, who is the youngest member of his family, plays for Surinder Khanna Cricket Academy. He has even represented Delhi U-19 in one match last season but narrowly missed out from the squad this year.
Keshav lost his father in June this year due to a brain stroke, which gave his family some financial constraints but thanks to the jobs of his elder sister and brother, his family did not have problems to make ends meet. Keshav, however, wants to ease the burden on his siblings and bowling fast is the only way he believes he can do something for his family. “Isi liye toh cricket khel raha hu… It’s still a long way to go but I hope my dreams come true.”
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