PAK vs ENG: Rehan Ahmed fast to England test team was always the target strategy – Rob Key


The inclusion of Rehan Ahmed in the test team may have seemed a bit improvised. But a day after Brendon McCullum, the team’s head coach, informed Ahmed that he had been chosen for the tour of Pakistan, the men’s director of cricket decided To rob Key said it had always been.

In October, a 15-man Test squad was chosen without Ahmed’s name, being included in the Lions squad. A training camp in Dubai and participation in the Test team’s ongoing exhibition match against the Lions in Abu Dhabi would be followed by a secondment on the Test tour to further his development.

The fact that Rehan Ahmed’s call-up has been made official in this way, a week before the first Test, is the result of careful, necessary planning.

This is Rehan Ahmed’s best way to his development: Rob Key

Rehan Ahmed (Getty Images)

And while that wouldn’t necessarily have prevented Ahmed from being selected, especially under captain Ben Stokes whose tenure saw a change in the way things were done, the fact that it happened is due to careful, necessary planning.

“The plan for Rehan was we were always looking to get him on the team,” Key said in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. “This is the best way to further his development. He is a serious talent, but it may take four or five years for him to be the final product. He is nowhere near the finished article.

“But we just hope being involved with the Test squad, with McCullum and Stokes and the mentality they have… bowling with Joe Root. He becomes a full member of that squad, he’s not just a net bowler.

“If necessary, we believe he can play and do a good job for us with bat and ball. It’s an opportunity to put him on a path that will bring out the best in him.

“Thanks to the test rig, we think this is the best group of people to support his development and take him where we think he can be faster, by being involved with not just the captain or Brendon, but all those others players has a role to play in its development.”

Rehan Ahmed added to the exclamation point of the Lions’ reaction as he bowled eight wicketless overs for 73 runs on day one of this proposed three-day warm-up at the Tolerance Oval as the Test “XI” built up 501 for seven. Three fours and two sixes, both by Liam Livingstone, were part of his fast 26 out of 10 deliveries.

Livingstone retaliated in the same over by pretending to be exhausted at the non-end striker before finally bringing about his own demise through more traditional means. As a result, the Lions finished the second day with 411 for 9. The foundation of the innings was provided by Haseeb Hameed’s composed 145 and an efficient 82 from fellow opener Tom Haines.

We wanted it to be more of a soft launch: Rob Key

Rehan Ahmed
Rehan Ahmed (Getty Images)

Confident, carefree and exactly what you’d expect from an 18-year-old, Rehan Ahmed’s innings could possibly be extrapolated to the impression he made on McCullum, who was reportedly hesitant to choose Ahmed before meeting him or completely was engaged. with him. Apparently the past 48 hours have made an impression on him.

However, there was always a duty of care for a young man who had played just three first-class games for Leicestershire and had just turned 18 in August.

“How we did it, we wanted it to be more of a soft launch, rather than just announcing him on a team and there you go, with all the media speculation,” Key revealed.

“He was able to come out here, we watched him. Mo Bobat [ECB performance director and head coach of the Lions] knows him very well and has played a major role in his development since childhood. Each of these young players has gone down that road with Bobat, David Court [Player ID Lead].

“They’ve read these people well, they’ve been in touch with the families and all that stuff. That was the best way we thought we could have that soft launch, so he was around for a while before finding out he was picked in the squad.

Rehan Ahmed also has another fascinating feature. His white-ball game is clearly a little more advanced, despite a century and a five-wicket haul with the red ball, both of which were achieved against Derbyshire in a County Championship match at the end of the 2022 season.

As a result, he had offers for franchise cricket this winter. He most likely would have played in England’s ODIs in Australia that followed the T20 World Cup had the timetables been different, as he trained with the limited-overs team over the summer.

We made Rehan Ahmed an offer he can’t refuse: Rob Key

Rehan Ahmed
Rehan Ahmed (Getty Images)

In ceding, Rehan Ahmed will have to make decisions about which color ball catches his eye throughout the year as his career and personal life progress. And he admits without hesitation that Ahmed’s exposure to Test Cricket has the potential to plant a significant seed in Ahmed’s mind.

He might be thinking about franchise cricket, but we’ve made him an offer he can’t really refuse – a chance to be involved in Test cricket as the pinnacle. If you can play this form, you can play anything.”

When it comes to on-field matters, Key bases his work to date as head of the England game on the last bit of advice, held dear to his heart. He’s long believed that the old and new worlds can coexist peacefully, with a bit of give and take along the way, even from his commentary box days with Sky Sports and others.

Read also:IND vs NZ: “Want to hit Sanju Samson at number 3” – Rajkumar Sharma recommends team India batting order change for ODIs vs New Zealand


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