Kathmandu- Paras Khadka is certainly the brightest talent Nepal Cricket has produced. He has been a great player and ever since taking over the captainship from Binod Das in 2009 he has been an equally prolific captain.
Khadka was rated very high by many since long. Right before the 2008 U-19 World Cup “The World Cup Souvenir Program” had stated that “Khadka is arguably good enough to be in the line-up of any of the Test-playing countries”
Khadka has a great influence in the team. He motivates the team and fills aggression in players. Khadka has always inspired Nepal to win matches through his batting, bowling, fielding, and his captainship. His mere presence is a morale booster for most of the members of team.
On a discussion with Nepal’s front line pacer Sompal Kami, when I enquired him about the recent form of Paras Khadka (as Khadka hasn’t been in form since some time), he also said ” Paras doesn’t need to perform all the time. On many occasions his presence is just enough for us to win matches.”
Khadka’s form might not matter at modest level like Div 3 (where he managed to score just 60 runs in 3 innings with an average of 20 and still Nepal won the title) or any other ACC tournaments, but, at the highest level when it comes to facing teams like Netherlands, Namibia, Kenya and Canada, it matters. And, we saw a clear evidence of that in New Zealand a year back – an injured Khadka couldn’t inspire Nepal to win matches against the same above teams in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers.
In ICC World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand, in the five matches Khadka played, he scored 117 runs at an average of 23.40 with his highest score being 30. Most people believe, this was one of the reasons Nepal didn’t win matches in the qualifiers.
On the contrary, during the ICC T20 world cup qualifiers 2013 in the UAE, where Khadka scored 232 runs at an average of 29 with the bat, and took 11 wickets at 18.51 with the ball, Nepal qualified for ICC T20 World Cup and also grabbed the third position.
And, again at the big stage, at the T20 World Cup, where Khadka scored 83 runs at an average of 27.66, where he took wicket off the first ball against Hong Kong, and where he took two sensational catches against Afghanistan, Nepal nearly made it to the next round ahead of the likes of Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
When Paras Khadka delivers the brand of cricket he is known for it has a massive positive influence in the other members of the team. An instance would be the T20 qualifiers, Subash Khakurel scored 234 runs at an average of 23.4, Gyanendra Malla scored 210 runs at 23.33, and Sharad Veswakar scored 140 runs at 46.66. On the other hand in the ICC world cup qualifiers in New Zealand, where Khadka made 117 runs in five matches at an average of 23.4, Gyanendra Malla scored just 132 runs from six matches at an average of 22 and Sharad Veswakar scored 186 runs at an average of 31.33.
The thing with Khadka is, he not only takes his innings alone, he takes the team’s inning along with him. When he performs, Nepal team performs and when he doesn’t Nepal team looks sloppy.
Amid all these facts, we should feel glad that our captain has returned back to his best. With scores of 31, 79, and 123* from three practice matches at an average of 116.5, he is ready to rock Nepal in upcoming ICC WCL Division 2. Indeed, his form is really crucial for Nepal ahead of Division 2 if Nepal are to gain top two spot.