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Meet Akash Deep, 27-year-old RCB pace sensation to earn maiden India Test call-up for England series

The 27-year-old recently showcased his skills for India A in the unofficial Tests against England Lions.

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Chankesh Rao

Updated: Feb 10, 2024, 05:13 PM IST

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India announced their squad for the final three Tests against England on Saturday, which includes Bengal pacer Akash Deep. The 27-year-old recently showcased his skills for India A in the unofficial Tests against England Lions, where he impressed the selectors by taking an impressive 13 wickets.

Akash Deep, born on December 15, 1996, hails from Dehri town in the Rotas district of Bihar. Despite facing initial discouragement from his father, he harbored a strong passion for cricket from a young age. In pursuit of his dreams, he made the decision to leave his hometown in 2010 and move to Bengal, where his uncle provided the necessary support to nurture his cricketing ambitions.

Determined to succeed, Akash Deep enrolled himself in a local academy. However, tragedy struck when his father and elder brother passed away within a short span of time, leaving him devastated.

"My father had a stroke and then he passed away after a brief struggle with paralysis three years ago. Two months after his death, my older brother passed away. He had common cold, fever. It hadn't come down for a few days, and we went to a doctor, who didn't diagnose his problem properly."

"We had to go to Banaras (Varanasi) for treatment, and he died on the way. I was emotionally and mentally down. There was no money in the house, I had my mother to take care of," he told ESPN Cricinfo in an interview in 2020.

Despite experiencing personal losses, Akash Deep remained determined to pursue his cricketing dreams and returned to Bengal. His talent caught the attention of coaches at the U-23 level, leading to his inclusion in the Ranji Trophy squad. Akash Deep made his debut against Andhra at Eden Gardens in December 2019. That same year, he also played his first List A match against Gujarat in Jaipur in September and made his T20 debut against Maharashtra in Indore in March.

Akash Deep played a crucial role in the Bengal team's journey to the finals of the Ranji Trophy in both 2020 and 2023, although they unfortunately lost to Saurashtra on both occasions.

In his impressive career of 29 First-class matches, Akash Deep has taken a total of 103 wickets, with his best figures being 6 for 60. He showcased his skills while representing India A in a three-match unofficial Test series against England Lions, where he took an impressive 13 wickets.

In the 2022 IPL auction, Akash Deep was picked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 20 lakh. During that season of the tournament, he showcased his talent by taking seven wickets in six matches.

During his inaugural season, Akash managed to leave skipper Faf du Plessis in awe of his remarkable speed, following an intense IPL match.

“DK (Karthik) was really good but I was impressed the most with Akash Deep. He was excellent with the new ball, bowled very good hard lengths,” he said in a video shared by RCB on Twitter.

“I was surprised by his pace as well. It is very pleasing for us to have young fast bowlers stepping up,” Faf du Plessis added.

India's squad for last 3 Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul*, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja*, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep

Also Read| 'Fit enough to practice but.....': Former India star's indirect dig at Ishan Kishan

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