Feb 23, 2024, 10:13 AM IST

Meet Akash Deep, the Bengal pacer handed maiden India Test cap

Chankesh Rao

On Friday, Akash Deep made history by becoming the 313th Indian Test player. He was awarded his international debut cap in preparation for the fourth match against England in Ranchi.

The 27-year-old will be stepping in for Jasprit Bumrah in the starting lineup, as the senior fast bowler has been given a break to manage his workload.

Similar to senior pacers Mohammed Shami and Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep also represents Bengal in domestic cricket despite not being a native of the state.

Akash, the son of a school teacher, was born in the town of Dehri in Bihar's Rohtas district on December 15, 1996. In 2010, he relocated to Bengal where his uncle played a pivotal role in supporting his dream of becoming a cricketer.

Despite facing numerous obstacles during his childhood, Akash persevered and pursued his passion for cricket with his uncle's guidance and encouragement.

In 2019, he made his senior debut for Bengal in all three formats of cricket. Since then, he has participated in 30 First-Class matches, as well as 28 List A and 41 T20 matches.

Akash, the pacer, was a key player for the Bengal team that reached the final of the Ranji Trophy in both 2020 and 2023. He emerged as Bengal's top wicket-taker in both seasons, although in the 2019-20 season he was tied with left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed with 35 scalps each.

In total, Akash has taken 104 First-Class wickets, averaging 23.58 with an economy rate of 3.03. His best bowling figures of 6/60 were achieved in just his second First-Class match, against Gujarat during the 2019-20 season.

Akash's white-ball record is quite impressive, having been selected by the RCB in the 2022 season. In just seven matches over two seasons, Akash has taken six wickets, with his best bowling performance being 3/45 against the KKR in his debut season.