Rehan Ahmed shares his new love for Test cricket as he hails England’s ‘dream come true’ -Dlight News

England's Rehan Ahmed smiles as he walks off the field on end of Pakistan second innings during the third day of third test cricket match between England and Pakistan, in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

Even as modern narratives may try to cast a shadow over Test cricket, England’s rising star Rehan Ahmed admits he has experienced a change of heart in his perception of the traditional red-ball format.

The 18-year-old fits the mold as a white-ball native, growing up with cricket at a time when it has been suggested the multi-day format may have lost its appeal for new, younger audiences.

But Test cricket is still alive and kicking, rejuvenated by the breakneck start England have enjoyed under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.

Ahmed was an unexpected selection for December’s test tour in Pakistan, but he was no passenger as his seven-game spell in Karachi helped England seal a famous clean 3-0 sweep.

“I used to see it as something that was a boring game,” he said. “But it’s a long game, it’s the hardest game. Now I see it as the most fun game.”

“The test match was the highest level of pressure I’ve ever faced. That was a different kind of intensity.

“One hundred percent of the joy I got from playing Test Match and winning the Test Match was unmatched. I don’t know if anything can match that.”

Earlier this month, Ahmed became the youngest England men’s cricketer to play in all three formats of the game on the international stage when he appeared in the 3-0 T20I loss to Bangladesh.

Before that, he had become England’s youngest male Test debutant at the age of 18 years and 126 days against Pakistan in December, capping their series with five wickets in an innings on the third day.

“I don’t think even the test match has sunk in yet,” he said. “Debuting in all three formats in such a short time is a dream come true.”

Such has been his glowing impression and long-touted potential that Ahmed may dare to believe his chances of a place in England’s Ashes setup, as well as the autumn World Cup in India.

“I still dream about it,” he admitted. “At the same time, I take each day as it comes. If I play, I play, but if I don’t, I don’t. The thing is with England cricket, if I don’t play, I love to watch it.”

“Watch England cricket live [in Pakistan] It was the best day of my life. I’m sure it will be again if I don’t play Ashes.”

Ahmed has relished the opportunity to watch and learn from the success of his England teammate Adil Rashid, who has arguably raised the bar when it comes to spin bowling in the shorter formats.

“Big shoes to fill,” Ahmed said. “Even thinking about it puts me under pressure. Rash is his own bowler, he’s done so well for England for so many years so he could only dream of having half the career he had.”

“Rash is more of a traditional leg spin, like Shane Warne or Stuart MacGill. Whereas I focus on throwing it a little faster, not trying to spin it as much.”

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