New Delhi, Oct 9: Former India captain MS Dhoni started a custom of handing over the trophy, after winning the series, to the youngest members of the team and make them feel special. His successor Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma - who leads the team in the absence of the Kohli - have followed the same tradition to help the youngsters feel at home.
Something similar was witnessed after India won the Asia Cup 2018 trophy after defeating Bangladesh in a nail-biting final. India won the game and Rohit was handed over the winners' trophy which the Mumbaikar immediately handed over to young pacer Khaleel Ahmed - who made his debut for India in their opening game of the six-nation tournament.
Khaleel has now revealed that it was Dhoni who advised Rohit to hand over the trophy to him.
"Dhoni Bhai asked Rohit Bhai to let me hold the trophy on the dais. He gave me the trophy because I was the youngest member of the team and it was my debut series. It was a memorable experience for me," Khaleel was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
When Dhoni Bhai and Rohit asked me to hold the winning trophy I had no words. I became emotional and will never forget that moment," the youngster said.
Former India skipper is known for helping out youngsters and the veteran wicket-keeper batsman helped the youngster ease his nerves in debut game as Hong Kong openers were hitting him for runs.
"After we posted 259 against Hong Kong, their openers got off to a brilliant start. A 150-run opening stand was something we didn't expect. They were hammering me. I tried almost everything but nothing was working out," he added.
"Dhoni bhai walked up to me and said 'pace maintain kar ke rakh aur thoda aage daal' (maitain your pace and pitch the bowl a bit forward). I tried it twice and it worked for me. Finally, I managed to break the opening stand. We all are lucky to have Dhoni in the team," Khaleel further added.
The left-arm-pacer returned with figures of 3/48 on his debut and equalled his idol, Zaheer Khan, as the latter too returned with same numbers in his first game for India. The Rajasthan pacer has spent some time with Zaheer during IPL 2016 in Delhi Daredevils' dressing room.
The 20-year-old is now targetting to do well against West Indies in the upcoming ODI and T20I series at home.
"I am happy with the way I performed in the Asia Cup. I hope to play against West Indies at home. Hope I have impressed the selectors. I am excited to play under Virat Kohli," he signed off.