Last year, days after he was named in the Indian team, a very excited reporter from his hometown had asked Avesh Khan a question that had a rich sprinkling of charmingly rich Indori Hindi. Throwing in a couple of onomatopeic local slangs she asked with unadulterated enthusiasm: “Indore apni dhannat and bhannat ke liye prachilit hai, aapki ball mai kitni dhannat and bhannat dekhi jayegi?” It will be on the weak legs of words like “thunder” and “swagger” that the English language can venture anywhere near dhannat and bhannat.
Avesh got the drift in the blink of an eye and it would have been so easy for the pacer, capable of consistently clocking in high 140 kph, to give the headline that the rookie had dreamt. But he let facts come in the way of a great headline. “Nahi dimaag se bowling daalu woh jyada better hai, nahi ki hosh kho ke. Agar thande dimag se bowling daalo toh jyada successful ho sakte ho (No it is better to bowl with a cool mind, that’s what makes you succeed,” he replied. Avesh was being truthful, his steady rise among the ranks is because of his calm mind and not his supersonic deliveries.
Even as a junior and an u-19 World Cup winner, the boy from Indore had got noticed because of his speed. Within a couple of years, he even touched 150 kph in a Syed Mushtaq game but Avesh was never seen as the next Shoaib Akhtar. Noone was rushing to call him Indore Express. His action of him too played a big role in him being seen as a thinking pacer. Avesh did n’t charge to the crease, his he was a run-up of a bowler keeping a close eye, plotting his dismissal of him while in stride.
Avesh Khan strikes again and this time it’s the #GujaratTitans Skipper who has to depart.
— Indian Premier League (@IPL) May 10, 2022
His final over today, the 19th of the LSG innings, was a joint-exhibition of his hot pace and “thanda dimag”. Even with IPL’s latest action hero, the unconventional power-hitter Rahul Tewatia on crease, Avesh was unfazed. He didn’t let the typical pace bowler’s perennial hate for agricultural sloggers show. He didn’t want to bounce him out or damage his toe with a yorker. Tewatia kept moving around the crease, the Indore pacer kept bowling to his plan.
Earlier in the innings, he had accounted for the other fidgety Gujarat Titans batter Mathew Wade. The Aussie failed to pull off his trademark move away from the stumps’ lap-shot as Avesh had planned for him a ball that kept following him like a heat-seeking missile. Not able to free his arms from him, Wade gloved the ball to the keeper.
Tewatia too could’t succeed in his tricks. Had it not been for a fielding goof-up, Avesh wouldn’t have conceded even a boundary in that over. On the final ball, Hooda would even drop a simple catch. Avesh finished with figures of 4-0-26-2. If the fielders had cooperated, it would have been 4-0-23-3. Like just another day in office, the Indore pacer walked off the field without much fuss – neither extra elation for the flattering figure nor exaggerated agony of missed wicket. Not dhannat, not bhannat.