'Still down with fever?': Avesh Khan mystery resurfaces after India pacer takes 7/38, scores 28 off 31 in Ranji Trophy
Representing Madhya Pradesh, Avesh Khan, who mysteriously disappeared from Team India's senior squad, ripped through the Vidarbha batting line-up to grab stunning figures of 7/38 and burst into the top 10 wicket-takers list of the Ranji Trophy.
Avesh Khan, who mysteriously disappeared from Team India's senior squad is creating ripples in the Ranji Trophy. Avesh, who fell off the radar after a fever ruled him out of last year's Asia Cup is making heads turn with one impactful performance after the other in India's oldest domestic competition. Representing Madhya Pradesh, Avesh ripped through the Vidarbha batting line-up to grab stunning figures of 7/38 and burst into the top 10 wicket-takers list of the Ranji Trophy.
On a chilly morning, Avesh used the conditions to great effect. He made the ball swing both ways viciously on a green Holkar surface to squeeze the life out of Vidarbha's innings. In fact, so menacing was Avesh that at one stage, his figures read 5/9 when his opening spell wreaked havoc on Vidarbha. In reply to MP's 309 in the first innings, Vidarbha were rolled over for 160 with Avesh leading the charge. He dismissed captain Faiz Fazal and then sent back Atharva Taide before packing experienced batters G Sathish and Akshay Wadkar for ducks. Earlier, with the bat, Avesh had also scored a crucial 28 off 31 balls.
Surprisingly, Avesh last played for India in the South Africa T20Is just before the World Cup, and has been nowhere near India's white-ball set-up since. The 26-year-old quick was in red-hot form for India having taken 16 wickets from 20 ODIs and T20Is combined – in June last year, Avesh grabbed 4/18 against South Africa and was in line for a berth in India's T20 World Cup squad – but once he was reported ill during the Asia Cup, forcing him to miss the Super 4 fixtures, the tall pacer has gone out of reckoning.
That doesn't mean that Avesh was sitting quietly. The right-arm pacer has been running roughshod over oppositions in the Ranji Trophy, where in three matches, he has already taken 22 wickets. Avesh began his season with a five-wicket haul against Jammu Kashmir, where his 5/33 in the first dig became a catalyst behind MP's innings win. He continued his stellar form against Railways, dismantling their first innings with 4/69 to go with a very important unbeaten 30 which helped MP to a narrow two-wicket win. Before Ranji resumed, Avesh had bowled brilliantly against Baroda to claim 6/37 in a Vijay Hazare Trophy match.