‘Naturally gifted technically correct, attacking, quick learner, big match player’ are some adjectives we often use to describe a 21 years old Right handed opener Subash Khakurel, a natural stroke-maker, who quickly adjusts to the conditions and the situations, has already cemented his place in the national side. One of the finest batsman in Nepal’s cricketing history, Khakurel has played some match saving innings for the team and has got great potential and temperament but hasn’t quiet really justified the talent he possess.
Subash Khakurel has been one of the mainstay for Nepal for a while. When his batting clicked, Nepal has got result in it’s favor. Khakurel has contributed 684 runs at a promising average of 27.36 in his 26 One dayers innings for the senior national side. His career best 115 runs in one dayers against USA in 2012 Division 4, 40* in the final of the same tournament, half-century against UAE in the 2012 ACC Elite cup, 78 Pakistan U23 proved he is one of the reason behind Nepal’s huge success in international cricket in recent past.
The record gets a little worse when it turns to Twenty-Twenty, in 13 t20s Khakurel has scored 320 runs at an average of 24. He was the high scorer for Nepal in 2013 ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers with 234 runs under his belt in 7 matches with the high score of 54 against Kenya in a crucial match to help Nepal to chase down the mammoth total of 183 put by Kenya batting first. He scored half century against the mighty Afghanistan in the ICC T20 World Cup to become the first ever Nepali batsman to reach the milestone.
Problems with Khakurel
The main problem with Subash Khakurel is the way he construct his inning. He takes little too much time to settle down (his strike rate in OD is 68), which enforces the batsman on the other end to play the big shots which often cost wickets. Another on transformation of the momentum. He has scored 13 times in 20s or excess out of his 26 innings in One dayers but only 3 scores among them are in excess of 50. He often gets start taking way too much deliveries and then throws his own wicket too which hurts the team badly.
Khakurel is cool as ice and clam, but his calmness sometimes hurts the team. Yeah! It’s important to remain clam but as elders say, ‘ Everything has a limit’. Khakurel needs to talk to himself about the pace he plays. Recently Rohit Sharma- opener of India scored 264 runs of 175 balls in ODIs, out of those 264 runs first 50 runs came in 74 balls and the rest 214 runs came in 101 balls. That’s something Khakurel has to learn, take your time but match up the pace later on.
What Nepal needs from Subash Khakurel?
Subash Khakurel has been in the national side for almost half a decade and now looks as if he has cemented his place up the order. Khakurel isn’t a youngester anymore, he comes in among the most experienced cricketers in the squad, he now has to set up an example for the youngester to follow. The probable future captain has pleanty to prove about. Khakurel needs to convert the starts he gets into some significient innings. He has been playing way too many dots up the order which is adding pressure to the middle order.
As a opener you will always face a new ball and most of the times the pacers, the new ball will do something of the deck and in the air, you need to play every ball to it’s merit, you need to respect the opposition’s bowling attack. In this sense taking time to settle is understandable but as we all know he isn’t a big hitter and relys more on timing, he needs to work on to construct the inning and hold the rest of the batting order together. Khakurel needs to keep in mind that he is one responsible player for Nepal and with his performance stands the hope and belief of almost 2.5 core Nepalese. In conclusion, Khakurel needs to take little more responsibilities.