Bengal pacer Akash Deep received an unexpected Test call-up during his Ranji Trophy match when India announced their squad for the last three Tests against England.

During his ongoing Ranji Trophy match for Bengal, Akash Deep received the news he had long awaited – a call-up to India’s Test squad for the remaining three matches against England.

With an impressive track record of 103 wickets in 29 matches since his 2019 debut for Bengal, Akash’s selection reflects his dedication to domestic cricket. Additionally, his standout performance in the recent unofficial Tests against England Lions further solidified his credentials.

“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 told PTI.

“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 realized that more than skill, at this level, it is more about the mental strength of being able to execute plans under pressure,” he added.

At 15, Akash faced hurdles pursuing cricket in Bihar, where it was deemed impractical. From Sasaram, he encountered disapproval as cricket was viewed as a distraction from studies. Despite parental concerns, Akash persisted, understanding their worries about the uncertain future cricket might offer in their context.

“Lots of parents would ask their children not to mingle with Akash as he only plays cricket and your studies would go for a toss. But I don’t blame them. What would you have achieved playing cricket in a place like that? You would be wasting time and not even become a cricketer, and also ignore academics. Your future would be ruined and they were worried. So, were my parents,” Akash recalled.

Following a personal tragedy, Akash’s life took a drastic turn within six months as he lost his father and brother. With newfound responsibility, he turned to cricket to support his family, initially playing tennis-ball matches to make ends meet.

Now, as he prepares to join the Indian Test team in Rajkot, he reflects on the journey with gratitude, alongside fellow Bengal pacer Mukesh Kumar, acknowledging their shared pride in representing their state.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter