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Akash Deep didn't expect maiden Test call-up in England series

BCCI announced India's squad for the last three Tests against England last week and included Bengal pacer Akash Deep in the squad for the first time. This is his maiden call-up to the Test side and was also part of India's squad in the Asian Games and in the South Africa ODI series as well.

Aditya Kukalyekar Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: February 12, 2024 12:35 IST
Akash Deep, IND vs ENG
Image Source : PTI Akash Deep

Bengal pacer Akash Deep has admitted that he wasn't expecting a Test call-up so soon. He was in the middle of his Ranji Trophy match when the BCCI announced India's squad for the last three Test matches against England. Akash had replaced Avesh Khan in the squad who was released to get some game time instead of warming the bench. But then, the call-up was a surprise to Akash himself.

"I was hopeful that in the near future I might get a Test call-up if I keep performing but I didn't expect that it would come by the third match itself," Akash said while speaking to the PTI. Not that the pace bowler has been included suddely in the India squad. The selectors had him on their radar having picked him in the team in Asian Games and the ODI series on South Africa tour. Moreover, Akash Deep also played for India A against England Lions picking up 11 wickets in two unofficial Test matches last month.

Also, since making his debut in 2019, the cricketer has accounted for 103 wickets in 29 first-class matches. Opening up on his learnings from earlier India call-ups, it is all about handling pressure when it comes to international level as a player is always a skillfull to get picked at the highest level. "Inswing is my stock delivery, but at this level, you need to have outswing and reverse swing and more importantly need to control the swing.

"I was in the ODI squad in South Africa and realised that more than skill, at this level, it is more about mental strength of being able to execute plans under pressure," the 27-year-old added. The Indian team is likely to assemble in Rajkot on Monday (February 12) ahead of the third Test that will be played from February 15 and Akash Deep will have a familiar face in his state teammate Mukesh Kumar in the dressing room. "This is a matter of pride that myself and Mukesh bhai will be in the Indian dressing room together in a Test team," Akash further said.


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