Updated February 23rd, 2024 at 21:49 IST

'I dedicate this to my...': Rookie Akash Deep feels TRIUMPHANT after fulfilling late father's dream

Debutant Akash Deep dedicated his superb three-wicket blitz on Test debut to his father. Akash Deep came into the playing XI following Bumrah's departure.

Akash Deep | Image:BCCI
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On Friday, another youngster's dream of playing for India was fulfilled. As Jasprit Bumrah has been rested for the 4th Test, youngster Akash Deep has made it to the playing Xi, and debuted in style by picking three wickets on his maiden day playing for the nation. Following the end of the day, the debutant shared the delight of living the dream that his late father envisioned for him.

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Akash Deep dedicates his performance to his late father

India pace bowler Akash Deep dedicated his superb three-wicket blitz on Test debut to his father, who died in 2015, and said he is pleased to have fulfilled his father's desire of "becoming something in life".
Akash Deep's father, Ramji Singh, died of paralysis, and the batsman lost his elder brother while being transported to a hospital in Varanasi six months later.

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"I thought I have to do something after I lost my dad and brother in one year, then I stepped out to play cricket. I had nothing to lose and everything to win," Akash Deep told reporters after day one of the fourth Test against England.

The 27-year-old bowled a dream opening spell on Test debut, blowing away the England top-three en route his 3/70.

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England went on to lose half their side for 112 at lunch on Friday.

"I dedicate this to my father because it was his dream that his son does something in life. I couldn't do anything in his life (when he was alive), so this performance is for my father.

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"Every cricketer has one dream, to play for India in Tests. That was also my dream," said the Bengal pacer who hails from Baddi village in Rohtas district of Bihar, about 300km from Ranchi.

"We didn't know about cricket while growing up; cricket was not there where I come from. I played tennis cricket after 2007 and got to know about cricket after 2016. Since then, I have been following (Mohammed) Shami bhai and (South Africa's Kagiso) Rabada.

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"I got my Test cap at a place which is near to my village (in Bihar) as well as Bengal from where I play. Bengal supported me well. In my journey, my family played a big role.

"My family is also here. No doubt, it's an emotional feeling but there was just one thing going on in my mind -- how to contribute to the team." On getting his Test cap from India coach Rahul Dravid, Akash Deep said, "He (Dravid) heard my story and I was very emotional (at the moment). I was just told to keep it simple, do whatever I have been doing (so far). It was a big help as, at this level, you sometimes get confused." Akash Deep also said that ace India pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the fourth Test, too gave him advice on how to bowl in international cricket.

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"Bumrah bhai told me that at the international level, one should bowl slightly back-of-a-length (deliveries) because batters tend to chase the ball. So, that was at the back of my mind and the plan was to bowl the right line and length," Akash Deep told the host broadcasters earlier on Friday.

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On his journey

On his journey from making first-class debut in December 2019, he said, "I don't know what I did, but whenever I used to play a match, I used to think that this is the last match of my life, and whenever I achieved success in a given match, I tried to incorporate that (method) in the next game." England rode on Joe Root's patient unbeaten century to recover well in the post-lunch session to end the opening day at 302/7.

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"At the start, bowlers got some help but after that when the wicket dried up, the ball also became very soft. The pitch is pretty slow. We are able to manage it (bowling) but I feel that as a bowling unit, we will have to focus on our line and length, keep it tight. If we make that effort we will get success.

"The bounce is the same but, I feel, we can keep the length away because the ball is coming onto the bat easily. it was a good wicket today." Akash Deep smashed Zak Crawley's off-stump in his second over of the day only for the umpire to signal a no-ball.

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"I felt very bad. Not because it was my first international wicket. He (Zak Crawley) was playing very well, he was hitting the ball and I was feeling bad that the team should not suffer because of me. But, thankfully, he got out soon after," added Akash Deep. 

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Published February 23rd, 2024 at 21:49 IST